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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3409 - Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Act

September 19, 2012


(House Rules)

(Rep. Johnson, R-OH, and 19 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3409, which packages together a number of harmful measures that would undermine landmark environmental laws and adversely affect public health, the economy, and the environment. The bill would roll back safeguards that protect public health, undercut fuel economy standards that will save Americans money at the pump while decreasing our dependence on oil, and roll back key provisions underpinning Clean Water Act protections.

H.R. 3409, for example, would block landmark Clean Air Act public health regulations, such as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, which would reduce harmful air pollution that threatens public health, especially the health of children and seniors. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that emissions reductions resulting from meeting these standards will prevent as many as 11,000 avoidable premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks annually. The annual value of the health benefits from these rules alone is estimated to be as much as $90 billion. H.R. 3409 also would block the recently-finalized National Program of fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for Model Year 2017-2025 cars and light trucks. Further, the legislation could create uncertainty around the requirements currently in effect for the Model Year 2012-2016 vehicle standards. The historic National Program for vehicles will deliver dramatic savings for Americans at the pump, significantly cut U.S. oil consumption, and reduce harmful pollution. In addition, the bill would roll back the provisions of the Clean Water Act that have underpinned 40 years of progress in making the Nation's waters fishable, swimmable, and drinkable.

To be clear, the Administration believes that coal is and will remain an important part of our energy mix for decades to come. For that reason, since 2009, the Administration has committed nearly $6 billion in advanced coal research, development, and deployment and continues to work with industry on important efforts to demonstrate advanced coal technologies.

As has been noted in previous statements on related legislative proposals contained within H.R. 3409, the Administration strongly rejects the notion that economic growth and protecting the health of our communities and families are mutually exclusive.

If the President is presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3409 - Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project