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Larry B.
Republican IN 8

About Rep. Larry
  • War on Coal

    by Representative Larry Bucshon

    Posted on 2013-04-17

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    BUCSHON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of our coal industry and the men and women who work in the industry.

    I grew up in a small town in Illinois, 1,400 people, Kincaid, Illinois, where my dad was a United Mine worker for 36 years. All of my friends' parents worked in the coal mine. Coal created good, middle class jobs for those who lived in my hometown.

    I've been down in these mines in my hometown when I was a kid, and recently in my district now in southwestern Indiana. I've met the proud, hardworking coal miners, and I've seen the impact their hard work has on the local economy.

    In 2010, Indiana mined around 36 million tons of coal and consumed nearly 65 million tons. Currently, Indiana has more energy underground in the form of coal reserves than the entire United States does in oil and gas reserves.

    Indiana's demonstrated coal reserve base of over 17 billion short tons is [[Page H2113]] enough to maintain the current level of production in Indiana for 500 years. The reserve base for the entire Illinois Basin, which includes Indiana coal, is over 130 billion tons, enough to meet the entire U.S. coal demands for the next 100 years. Eighty-eight percent of all electricity generated in Indiana is from coal. And I'm proud to say that all of that coal production is in my district.

    This natural resource is vital to our State's energy industry and supports over 3,300 direct mining jobs and approximately 12,000 indirect mining jobs. Twenty-seven percent of Indiana's GDP is from manufacturing dependent on coal-fired electrical generation.

    Mr. Speaker, we cannot deny that coal is vitally important to Indiana's economy, as well as our Nation's. Despite the immense impact coal has on our economy, onerous Federal regulations can often be an obstacle for this industry.

    I'm pleased to say that the administration actually recently responded to a request by myself and our two Indiana Senators to give a permit to a company creating 100 jobs in my area, but this is unusual. The coal industry under this administration should not have to navigate the overaggressive and ideological regulatory climate coming out of the EPA.

    {time} 1820 The Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA, recently proposed outlandish rules that are nearly impossible to follow. As has been previously stated, they can't be followed. There's no technology that will meet these standards. These proposed rules are oftentimes, as I just stated, impossible to meet, and they fail to examine the science.

    I was a heart surgeon in my previous career, and I can tell you I didn't practice medicine based on ideology or anecdote. I practiced based on scientific fact. Many of the regulations do not have the backing of science.

    Madam Speaker, we need a sound energy policy that supports our Nation's coal industry to lower the cost of electricity, create jobs, and make our businesses more competitive internationally.

    I'm proud to stand here today to support coal in Indiana and across America, and I thank the gentleman from Kentucky for holding this Special Order.

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