Murphy works to prevent tighter EPA grip on the coal industry

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight, recently spoke out against the Environmental Protection Agency’s aggressive policies against the coal industry.

The subcommittee recently met to markup the Energy Consumers Relief Act, which it ultimately passed. Murphy had a negative reaction to an amendment offered by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) that Murphy said would dramatically increase the EPA’s roles in the lives of ordinary Americans while doing nothing to improve their material well-being and quality of life.

“Somebody ought to speak up for Americans who are losing their jobs, and say as regulations come through, we ought to find out how poverty affects them,” Murphy said. “All we’re asking, at least for Americans who are out there, who are going to be told that they’re going to lose their jobs as power plants shut down, as coal mines are shut down, and towns move back into incredible, unspeakable poverty – I ask you to look into the eyes of people who are in poverty of all ages, the young, the old, the in-between. And make the EPA look into their eyes as well.”

Tonko’s amendment, which was designed to increase the EPA’s powers in all matters it deems related to public health, failed in the subcommittee’s mark in a 19-25 vote.

Murphy said the Energy Consumers Relief Act would significantly reduce the EPA’s role in the coal industry. The House on Wednesday passed a rule that will allow Congress to consider the bill.