Coal Mining Primacy is closer than ever!
(*See below for an explanation of Coal Mining Primacy.)
Coal Mining Primacy (SB686/HB571) is closer to becoming law than it has been in recent memory. Recently, an amendment was attached that plays some shell games with funding and purports to deal with the immense cost of starting a new bureaucracy to regulate coal mining in Tennessee! We see through it, of course, but one of our biggest weapons to fight this bill has been the Fiscal Memorandum, so without that on our side, we need all hands on deck to stop coal!
Send this message to your legislators about coal!
You may have a chance to vote on SB686/HB571, as amended, regarding the creation of a new bureaucracy for the regulation of coal mining in Tennessee. Please vote NO!
This is not a fiscally responsible bill. It doesn't make sense for Tennessee to have to rely on uncertain federal funds and a declining coal industry to provide enough money to hire and implement a brand new bureaucracy to regulate something the EPA already does!
If that wasn't enough, through its acceptance of self-insurance, this bill doesn't provide enough assurances that Tennessee taxpayers won't have to pay to clean up defunct coal mines. Bankrupt coal companies have cost states millions of dollars in mitigation liabilities, do you want Tennessee to be next?
Please vote no on SB686/HB571!
Tell your legislators to vote no!
*The federal government is in charge of permitting coal mining in Tennessee. The coal industry thinks that they would be better off if Tennessee's Department of Environment and Conservation took that back over. So, for the past several years, the coal mining industry has tried to pass a bill that would require TDEC to begin the process of returning the permitting process to Tennessee. These efforts are known as "Coal Mining Primacy". Aside from its environmental implications, the return of primacy to Tennessee would be very expensive.