House Quashes DeFazio's Amendment To Study Coal Dust Impacts

Sep 21, 2012

Oregon Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio tried to add an amendment requiring a study of the impacts of transporting coal by rail to the coal bill which passed the U.S. House of Representatives Friday. The Republican majority blocked the amendment.

The "Stop the War on Coal Act" would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. It would also quash stricter fuel efficiency standards and halt any new rules that threaten mining jobs. The vote was 233-175.

Congressman Peter DeFazio: "I offered a reasonable amendment to an unreasonable bill. My amendment just would have mandated that jointly the EPA and the Department of Transportation deliver to Congress within six months an assessment of the problems with fugitive coal dust."

DeFazio says the "Stop the War on Coal" bill will likely die in the Senate. There are several coal export terminals proposed in Oregon and Washington, and there's concern about the health impacts of coal trains traveling through the northwest. Portland this week passed a resolution banning the coal trains until more research is done on health risks. Eugene city councilors will consider a similar ban next month.

Copyright 2012 KLCC