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Congressman Mooney says budget benefits West Virginia

Charleston Daily Mail

Congressman Mooney says budget benefits West Virginia

By Joel Ebert, Capitol Bureau

Congressman Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., got three budget proposals into the U.S. House budget bill that he says benefit the state.

As the U.S. House of Representatives continues to discuss the chamber’s version of the budget, Congressman Alex Mooney was able to secure several proposals, which he said will benefit West Virginia.

“I successfully led three budget proposals through the committee process that are now included in the final House budget,” Mooney said Wednesday.

Two proposals — which Mooney said are aimed to stop “the president’s war on coal” — seeks to provide measures to protect the state’s energy industry.

The first energy-related proposal is in anticipation of the reintroduction of stream buffer regulations, which Mooney said would ban mining operations within 100 feet of anything defined as a stream by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“That would effectively shut down surface mining,” Mooney said. “We believe that’s their goal.”

According to Mooney, as much as 79 percent of the coal reserves in Appalachia would not be recoverable if the rule is implemented. Citing a 2012 study from the National Mining Association, Mooney said as many as 79,870 direct mining jobs in Appalachia could be lost.

The second proposal Mooney was able to add into the House’s budget relates to the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone standards.

“We believe it’s unnecessary,” he said of the ozone standards.

Mooney cited a 2014 study by the National Association of Manufacturers, which found that further restrictions on ozone standards could result in the loss of 2.9 million jobs by 2040 or about 10,658 jobs in West Virginia each year.

Mooney said the ozone restrictions could cost West Virginia $17 billion in gross state product by 2040.

“Stopping new regulatory overreach from this (President Obama’s) administration is good policy for all hard-working taxpayers in West Virginia and my proposals included in the House budget will protect tens of thousands of coal jobs in West Virginia,” Mooney said.

The final element that Mooney was able to secure into the House budget was one that would defund the Legal Services Corporation.

“They’re going outside their original mandate,” Mooney said. “It’s become an ideologically left-wing group that taxpayers should not be funding.”

Legal Services Cooperation was originally tasked with providing services to the poor, Mooney said, but it has since been used to advance pro-abortion policies and increase spending on welfare.

Mooney said the overall point of the House budget is that it does not rely on money that is not available. “Tough decisions have to be made, but the budget bill actually balances,” he said.

Mooney believed all three of his proposals would remain intact as Democrats submitted their amendments to the budget bill on Wednesday. The chamber is expected to send the bill to the floor for a vote next week. The Senate is in the process of passing their own budget and the two are expected to form a conference committee to reconcile their differences.

Contact writer Joel Ebert at 304-348-4843 or Follow him on