Another Dispute over Coal Mining Regulations

September 4, 2015


There is a fight over a new coal mining pollution rule.


It appears opponents of a proposed update to federal rules protecting water sources from coal mining pollution are not backing down.


It’s happening in Indiana and, not surprisingly, it’s become a political fight. Indiana’s governor says the whole thing is a continuation of the Obama’s administration’s “war on coal.” One senator is hoping to block the proposal in Congress.


Why the conflict? Let’s take a look:


The proposed rule would update regulations set in 1983 to minimize the impact of mining on water, fish, wildlife and other natural resources. The rule would mandate that companies monitor the condition of streams and make certain that any natural area is able to return to its prior use after mining operations are complete.


The rule was announced in July, with the interior secretary saying it reflects current science and would offer communities better protection from the long-term effects of mining.


Indiana’s coal fields are located mostly in the southwestern part of the state. They cover about 6,500 square miles.


Those connected to coal mining in the state seem to disagree with the interior secretary’s assessment that it will only have a minor impact on the coal mining industry.


The challenges facing the mining industry only heighten the importance of safe, reliable mining equipment. Used mining equipment can reduce overall costs without compromising safety.