While asking for emergency funds to repair the Sherman Minton Bridge, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear told President Obama the state’s economy needs less federal regulation of the coal industry. The governor met with Mr. Obama before his speech in Cincinnati on Thursday, where the president rallied support for the $447 billion American Jobs Act.
Beshear has been railing against Environmental Protection Agency since January, where he famously told the federal government to “get off our backs” in terms of environmental controls on coal companies.
After discussing the state’s crumbling infrastructure needs and the bridge closure, Beshear quickly pivoted to tell Mr. Obama just that.
From the governor’s office:
The governor also reminded the president that the EPA’s continued and unexplained shifting of regulations regarding coal mining jeopardizes thousands of Kentucky jobs and causes detrimental ripple effects in other state job sectors – especially manufacturing.
“Coal is not only a vital national resource, but coal mining also supports thousands of Kentucky families,” said Gov. Beshear. “These arbitrary changes in EPA guidelines cause unnecessary and costly delays in permitting, which compromise jobs and investments. It’s time for the EPA to end these unpredictable policy swings and work with us on a reasonable policy that protects our families.”
As Erica Peterson reported in August, the EPA recently visited eastern Kentucky. Unlike many elected officials, however, residents petitioned the agency to not grant permits to certain coal companies and voiced concerns about their personal health and pollution to the environment.