U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement regarding the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) announcement that it would tighten scrutiny of mountaintop coal mining in an effort to reduce environmental damage from operations that shear off peaks and fill Appalachian valleys:
“The administration’s decision will bring tighter scrutiny, but it is still important to pass the Cardin-Alexander legislation that would prohibit blowing off the tops of mountains and putting the waste in our streams,” said Senator Alexander, a member of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Committee on Environment and Public Works which has jurisdiction over this issue. “Coal is an essential part of our energy future, but it is not necessary to destroy our environment in order to have enough of it. Millions of tourists spend tens of millions of dollars in Tennessee every year enjoying the natural beauty of our mountains, and that creates thousands of jobs.”
Alexander and Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) have introduced the Appalachia Restoration Act to prevent the dumping of what is known as “excess spoil” from mountaintop mining intro streams and rivers, effectively ending the practice.