Monday, July 20, 2015

Morgan Griffith on Coal at Home and Abroad

From U.S. Representative H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):

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The Iran Nuclear Deal – Many Tough Questions

I, like many, am very concerned and skeptical about the announced agreement between the United States, five other nations, and Iran.  I am studying the terms of the deal, but continue to have reservations.

Interestingly, it is not just Republicans expressing concerns about this agreement.  Among other examples:
  • “Verification is going to be very critical,” the National Journal quotes House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as having said.  He continued, “Without verification, this is a useless agreement.  Without verification that’s meaningful and effective, it’s not an agreement that I can support.”
  • Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) said at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “I’ll say at the outset that while I reserve final judgment on the deal until I am able to read it through completely, I’m deeply concerned and disappointed by what appears to be in its terms.” 
I don’t understand how the Administration could have negotiated this deal without having included the handful of American prisoners being held in Iran.

After all, the President was willing to swap five Taliban prisoners in order to return to the United States a man who, under the best interpretation, walked away from his post – Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

On the positive side, while Americans are discouraged from using U.S. coal, apparently the President is okay with lifting restrictions on the Iranians importing it.

Another Week, Another Coal Rule?

On July 16, the U.S. Department of Interior proposed a new rule which, according to U.S. News and World Report would “…require companies to restore streams and return mined areas to a condition capable of supporting the land uses available before mining activities took place.  Companies also would have to replant native trees and vegetation.”

Just as companies, states, etc. come to understand one coal rule, the Administration comes out with another.  No wonder industry is afraid to use coal, and our coal-related jobs are quickly being diminished.
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[Editorial note: I just posted some snarky reflections on "mountaintop removal" at PersonaPaper.com. "Mountaintop removal" is not exactly what most of us think of as mining...and the hope that affected areas could be returned to "a condition capable of supporting the land uses available before..." takes a great deal of faith.]