House Approves Coal Ash Bill Again
(The Intelligencer 07-26-2013) WHEELING - Rep. David B. McKinley's renewed legislation seeking to put states, not the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in charge of regulating coal ash cleared the House Thursday with bipartisan support. The vote was 265-155, with 39 Democrats joining all but seven House Republicans in voting yes. Only two GOP members opposed the legislation, while five did not vote. All West Virginia and Ohio representatives voted for the bill, which had 54 co-sponsors.
The fight against federal regulation of coal ash - a byproduct of coal burning and a common ingredient in many construction materials - has been a focal point for McKinley since his election to the House in 2010. Two previous attempts to curb the EPA's authority over the substance have failed, once as a stand-alone bill in 2011 that passed the House but was never considered by the Senate, and again last summer as an amendment to a federal transportation bill.
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