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house Bill H.R. 1119

Do Power Plants That Burn Coal Waste Need Leeway on Emissions Standards?

Argument in favor

Coal refuse piles are an environmental and aesthetic blight on the communities they neighbor. Thankfully, coal refuse power plants not only remove and clean up those piles, but generate affordable energy. Emissions regulations should do more to accommodate these power plants.

James's Opinion
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03/08/2018
I have family that works for the industry that know the details and specs on waste. The industry has some of the toughest standards in the world and when they miss their mark they’re fined, HEAVILY. They don’t need to be regulated more, they already have tough restrictions. If you don’t like coal and natural gas spend money to invest in electric and renewables. It’s the way of the future. For now leave the coal and natural gas guys alone, they’ll be obsolete soon enough
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Ben's Opinion
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03/05/2018
Coal is still a long term energy solution until large scale energy storage solutions become viable
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Charles's Opinion
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03/08/2018
Current regulations are too restrictive. I would much rather burn COAL LEFTOVER’s than build, or continue the operation of existing, Nuclear Power Plants on the Oceanside’s (Fukushima), or elsewhere. What would CA or Florida do if the big one actually hit? The same as Fukushima because there was so much radiation coming out NO ONE COULD ENTER FOR MONTHS! I live in CA and am suffering the effect of Fukushima ruining our beautiful beaches and sea food for years to come. They have been lying to cover it up. The amount of radioactive materials pouring out of the Pacific Ocean and it’s food source:life source. All existing nuclear power plants should have already been discontinued and dismantled. The entire “clean energy “ spin is a joke. They have had zero point clean energy for years. Blame government not coal... lets get really real.
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Argument opposed

While coal refuse piles are environmental nuisances polluting nearby bodies of water or catching on fire, burning the coal waste to generate power simply trades one type of pollution for the another. This would unfairly advantage coal refuse power plants at the expense of other energy producers.

NotAmused's Opinion
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03/07/2018
No one needs leeway on emissions standards. Everyone needs clean air and water. We all have to sacrifice something in order to save our own butts.
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Sarah's Opinion
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03/08/2018
Our planet is much more important than these companies and their bottom line.
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Bill's Opinion
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03/08/2018
What’s the point of an emission standard if we give breaks to the technologies it was designed to discourage?
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • The house Passed March 8th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 215 Yea / 189 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Environment and Climate Change
    IntroducedFebruary 16th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 1119?

This bill — the SENSE Act — would ease emissions regulations for facilities which generate electricity by burning coal refuse by providing them with an alternative means of complying with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). Such facilities would be able to choose an emissions standard for either hydrogen chloride or sulfur dioxide with which to comply. Affected power plants generate electricity by burning coal refuse — a waste byproduct of coal that when sitting idle can catch fire or pollute bodies of water — as their primary fuel source, generating relatively inexpensive energy.

The bill’s full title is the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act.

Impact

People who receive their electricity from, or work for coal refuse power plants; and the EPA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1119

$0.00
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have an insignificant impact on the budget.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA) introduced this bill to save coal jobs and clean up the environment:

“My legislation will save good-paying jobs in the coal refuse-to-energy industry that creates affordable energy for consumers and has remediated waste coal piles across Western Pennsylvania. We’ve already seen the enormous environmental and economic benefits of this industry, especially in Allegheny, Cambria, and Somerset counties. By moving away from one-size-fits-all government regulations and instead crafting responsibly tailored regulations, we can keep Pennsylvanians employed and continue to restore Western Pennsylvania’s beautiful streams and hillsides.”

House Democrats opposed this bill in committee, writing:

“It comes as no surprise that the majority is once again offering legislation to undermine CAA regulations to benefit coal-fired power plants at the expense of public health. What is surprising is that the SENSE Act puts major coal-fired plants at a disadvantage relative to waste coal plants by granting them unnecessary and un-warranted regulatory relief.”

This legislation passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a party-line vote of 31-23 and has the support of six Republican cosponsors.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Jakec / Creative Commons)

AKA

Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act

Official Title

To establish the bases by which the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall issue, implement, and enforce certain emission limitations for existing electric utility steam generating units that convert coal refuse into energy.

    I have family that works for the industry that know the details and specs on waste. The industry has some of the toughest standards in the world and when they miss their mark they’re fined, HEAVILY. They don’t need to be regulated more, they already have tough restrictions. If you don’t like coal and natural gas spend money to invest in electric and renewables. It’s the way of the future. For now leave the coal and natural gas guys alone, they’ll be obsolete soon enough
    Like (23)
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    No one needs leeway on emissions standards. Everyone needs clean air and water. We all have to sacrifice something in order to save our own butts.
    Like (372)
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    Our planet is much more important than these companies and their bottom line.
    Like (169)
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    What’s the point of an emission standard if we give breaks to the technologies it was designed to discourage?
    Like (152)
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    Coal is bad for our environment. We don’t need relaxed regulations on coal power plants. We need less coal not more! Vote no on this bill.
    Like (109)
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    We need to stop prioritizing coal, which is negatively damaging our planet, over clean alternatives like solar/wind/etc. Coal regulations need to stay in place. This serves only to fit the interests of fossil fuel companies.
    Like (98)
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    The Arby’s sandwich franchise employs more Americans than the coal industry. Should we exempt Arby’s restaurants from health code regulations? NO.
    Like (89)
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    This bill is a blatant handout to coal and undermines years of environmental progress. Strongly opposed
    Like (58)
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    There is no such thing as clean coal. It is never coming back as a major supplier of energy. Do not get rid of the regulations for coal.
    Like (46)
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    Is this a joke? No. They need to comply. Coal is a dying industry, as it should be. Retrain coal workers in renewable energies that won’t kill them like coal does.
    Like (34)
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    Coal has been in steady decline for the last hundred years. It’s time to move into the next phase of energy.
    Like (18)
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    Stop destroying our country.
    Like (17)
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    Stop pulling coal out of the ground and there wouldn’t be piles of refuse. We need to convert to more sustainable environmentally friendly energy. Department of energy needs to come out of the Stone Age.
    Like (15)
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    Stop it! We cannot keep bastardizing the planet. These are stupid choices!
    Like (15)
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    If you can burn the refuse without polluting the air, fine. Otherwise find something else to do with it. Coal plants shouldn't exist in the first place. The environment will take 2 hits if this passes.
    Like (14)
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    Coal waste is a nuisance no matter where it is, that is why we should stop using it all together, but to answer this question: FOR GOD’S SAKE DO NOT BURN THE COAL WASTE. THAT WOULD BE THE WORST PART OF THE COAL. Why can’t the Republicans actually care about the people & the planet instead of their pockets
    Like (14)
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    I want to see more investment in alternative energy technologies. There is no such thing as clean coal! I live in a coastal valley that is just ripe for wind driven turbines. Why don’t I see any effort to use this technology here?
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    I'll agree to relaxing regulations only if all coal ash is dumped in Keith Rothfus' backyard (and any other "Republicon" who agrees with this bull crap)!!!
    Like (13)
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    Coal should be taken out of the equation. There’s sun, wind, water. Train coal miners for other trades. Educate them. Let BIG companies deal with the changes. We need to protect our environment at all costs. For the life of me I can’t understand what this administration has against the Earth and all it’s living inhabitants. There’s only so much money can buy and a new planet isn’t one of them. We need to concentrate on cleaning up our environment, VOTE and get these toxic people out of office!!!
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    Coal directly causes pollution and health problems. The regulations have been in place for long enough for them to adapt if they actually planned for the long term.
    Like (11)
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