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senate Bill S. 1514

McConnell to EPA: Nine Months to Approve or Deny Coal Mining Permits

Argument in favor

The EPA's regulatory process takes too long and lacks consistency, and this bill would help in both of those regards.

Argument opposed

Environmental assessments, no matter how long they take, are more important than a portion of the energy sector that matters less and less.

What is Senate Bill S. 1514?

This bill, penned by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve or deny coal mining permits related to water pollution regulations within 270 days. For valley filling, the EPA would have a year to make an environmental assessment. On average, such assessments currently take three years. Notably, the bill's language would mandate broad Congressional oversight of regulations related to carbon pollution standards, prohibiting  "the head of a federal agency from promulgating any regulation relating to power sector carbon pollution standards or any substantially similar regulation" without Congressional approval and backdating the prohibition to June 25th, 2013. 


The bill impacts EPA regulations and environmental assessments, the coal industry and its workers, and those living near coal mines and mountaintop removal sites.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1514

A CBO cost is currently unavailable, though the requirement of a quicker EPA turnaround time would have the potential to translate to EPA's need to higher more workers. An increase in labor might in turn mean a higher EPA budget or, alternately, that cuts would have to be made elsewhere, in order to offset the increase in labor.

More Information


Of Note:

-Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Shelly Capito (R-WV). 

-In 2012, coal production dropped by nearly 28%.

-At the time the bill was introduced, the EPA had 404 permits pending. 


Saving Coal Jobs Act of 2013

Official Title

A bill to save coal jobs, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
    IntroducedSeptember 17th, 2013