National Mining Association Endorses Coal Jobs Protection Act of 2013

Washington, D.C. – The National Mining Association (NMA) has endorsed The Coal Jobs Protection Act of 2013, which would streamline America’s broken permitting process.

NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn commended Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) for announcing their intentions to introduce the bill and urged Members of Congress to pass the legislation.

“Streamlining the permitting process and requiring 402 permit applications to be reviewed in a timely manner would keep valuable coal mining jobs in place and prevent more damage to already struggling state economies,” Quinn said. He noted that in 2012, the U.S. coal industry saw a decline in employment of 4.2 percent. In eastern Kentucky alone, more than 4,000 miners lost their jobs in 2012.

The bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve or veto 402 permit applications within 270 days of application. If the EPA doesn’t act during that time, the permit is automatically approved. It also gives the EPA 90 days after it receives a 404 permit application to begin the authorization process, and it gives the president a year to conduct an environmental assessment.

Coal is America’s most abundant energy resource, providing affordable electricity to households, businesses, manufacturing facilities, transportation and communications systems and services throughout our economy. Coal mining contributed more than $96 billion to GDP and through direct and indirect employment supported 803,970 jobs in 2011.