6:51 PM EST
Jim Moran, D-VA 8th

Mr. MORAN. Mr. Chairman, this amendment stops the Interior Department from protecting nearby streams and rivers from the toxic disposal of coal mine waste. So let me give you the top seven reasons why this amendment should be defeated.

One, it will allow for the continued destruction of America's forests and native vegetation contrary to the statutory requirement to protect that vegetation.

Two, it will interfere with the new requirement for the Clean Water Act and Surface Mining Act, preventing the updating of regulations based upon the best science available.

Three, it will perpetuate the uncertainties that citizens and industry and State regulators are currently experiencing under outdated regulations.

Four, it will continue to allow the worst of the coal mine operators to destroy and pollute America's streams and, by doing so, gain a competitive advantage over the responsible operators.

Five, it will deny the State regulatory officials the ability to issue permits that would withstand legal challenge.

Six, it will prevent the gathering of information needed to predict adverse impacts to land and water resources.

And seven, it will prevent the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act process which provides valuable information to enable an informed decision to be made as to the best alternatives to protect society and the environment while helping to meet America's energy needs.

So that's why I would oppose the Johnson amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.