Press Archive


Charleston, WV (June 10, 2015) – The West Virginia Coal Forum, an organization of business and labor interests in the coal industry, applauds U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., for taking a hard stance against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency via his role on the House Appropriations Committee.

An Appropriations subcommittee today passed out the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior package. Jenkins, who represents West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, secured provisions that will slash EPA’s budget and prohibit the agency from making any expenditures to continue its war against the coal industry.

“Reducing EPA’s budget and restricting what they can do to hurt the coal industry has been talked about for years, and today Congressman Jenkins took action that West Virginians have been hoping to see,” said Chris Hamilton, co-chairman of the Coal Forum. “He demonstrated his willingness to fight for coal miners and West Virginia’s coal economy, not just for his district but for the entire state.”

The bill would cut the EPA's funding by $1.2 billion from the president's fiscal year 2016 budget request, a $718 million cut from fiscal year 2015 funding. 

In addition, the budget “riders” Jenkins secured today do not limit the agency’s critical functions, but rather would prevent EPA spending on regulatory overreaches such as proposed air quality rule changes for power plants, changes made to the definition of navigable waterways and changes made to the definition of fill material, which could impact surface mining.

While singling out Jenkins, Hamilton also praised West Virginia’s entire Congressional delegation, whom he called the state’s “energy team.”

“Senators Capito and Manchin and our three House Members are like a “Royal Straight Flush” when it pertains to coal and energy matters,” Hamilton said. “They are providing leadership for the rest of Congress to follow.”

Last week, Jenkins joined with Reps. David McKinley and Alex Mooney, both R-W.Va., in a letter to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin urging the governor not to comply with EPA mandates on its so-called “Clean Power Plan.” That kind of advocacy is what more members of Congress need to demonstrate to protect America’s electric power supply from EPA’s regulatory onslaught, Hamilton said.

“West Virginia – the entire country, in fact – cannot afford what EPA is trying to do to electric power generation,” Hamilton said. “EPA’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ will bring catastrophic increases to household utility bills, and that will have the greatest impact on our poorest citizens. EPA isn’t just waging a war on coal, they are waging a war on America’s poor. We need more people like Congressman Jenkins and the rest of our delegation to stand up to this rogue agency and tell them ‘No!’”