Coal Tattoo

OSMRE update: Senate has hold on Pizarchik

pizarchik.JPGMy sources in Washington are confirming this morning that at least one member of the U.S. Senate has a hold on President Obama’s nomination of Joe Pizarchik to be director of the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

It’s not clear which Senator has done so, or exactly what the concerns are.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved Pizarchik’s nomination, moving it to the full Senate for a vote. But two committee members — Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont — voted against Pizarchik.

Coalfield citizen groups have raised a variety of concerns about Pizarchik and have opposed his confirmation. See previous posts here, herehere, here and here.


Kendra Barkoff, press secretary for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, just issued this statement:

Secretary Salazar believes Joe Pizarchik is the right man at the right time to be the Director of the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation.  Joe’s experience and expertise proves that he will help move the department forward with coal production in an environmentally responsible way.  Secretary Salazar is willing to the address the concerns that any Senator might have regarding Joe’s qualifications for the office.