There’s a new report out from the Congressional Research Service called Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies. As many of you know, the CRS works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation.
Given all we hear from political leaders and coal operators about how tough the EPA is on mountaintop removal and the coal industry in general, the CRS report offers an interesting reminder of the real state of these issues:
Viewed broadly, the Administration’s combined actions on mountaintop mining displease both industry and environmental advocates. The additional scrutiny of permits, more stringent requirements, and EPA’s veto of a previously authorized project have angered the coal industry and many of its supporters. At the same time, while environmental groups support the veto and EPA’s steps to restrict the practice, many favor tougher requirements or even total rejection of mountaintop mining in Appalachia.