The bill - SB564 - reads as follows:
Prohibits the issuing of a permit for coal surface mining operations unless the applicant affirmatively demonstrates, and the Director finds in writing, that no spoil, refuse, silt, slurry, tailings, or other waste materials from coal surface mining and reclamation operations will be disposed of in any intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral stream.What caught my attention immediately was the inclusion of the adjectives "intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral" used to modify the word "stream." Rather than just "stream," which is what those northern environmentalists think of when they get all worked up over mining operations. They think they are saving trout and other fishes from extinction when in fact what the legislation would "save" would be nothing more than rocks and boulders. In English those "intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral" streams are what we know as dry gully beds. Washes. Those cuts in the mountainside that were formed when, and only contain water when, heavy rains occur and the runoff hurtles down the mountain. Gullies that immediately dry up again.
The dangerous aspect to this legislation is in the fact that every mountain in Southwest Virginia (and on the planet as a whole) has these gullies, these "intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral" streams. The bill, if signed into law, therefore, would force surface mining to come to a halt. Everywhere.
Why this woman couldn't have simply introduced legislation that called for the cessation of surface mining in the state, rather than take the cowardly route and disguise the language such that most folks would have to look up the words intermittent, perennial, and ephemeral to understand it is beyond me.
But then maybe it involves nothing more than that. Maybe this liberal Democrat from breathtakingly wealthy Fairfax - this Senator Patricia S. Ticer - is a coward. And she wanted to backdoor her radical environmentalism into law.
Having now made clear what her intentions were, I should give you the latest. It comes from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:
Va. senate will not take up surface mining billTicer was apparently unavailable for comment. She was off trying to keep warm in her cozy coal-heated home.
By Bill Archer
Bluefield, Va. — After coal industry supporters from southwestern Virginia showed up in Richmond, Va., last week to voice opposition to a bill that would have had an incredible impact on surface coal mining in the Old Dominion, the committee that was set to discuss the issue on Monday, did not meet as scheduled.
Today is crossover day in the Virginia General Assembly, and since the bill — Senate Bill 564 — did not come before the committee for a vote, it is passed by until the 2011 session of the Virginia General Assembly.
“The bill passed by for the year with no meeting,” State Senator Phillip P. Puckett, D-Russell said. Puckett also serves on the Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. “It was clear that there weren’t enough votes in the committee to get it passed. I voted against it once, and I was looking forward to voting against it again.”
Puckett was one of several regional legislators and coal industry supporters who spoke out against the bill during a public hearing on Feb. 11. “There was no discussion on the bill other than the discussion during the public hearing,” he said. “The committee passed it by for this year.”
Barbara Altizer, executive director of the Eastern Coal Council said that the committee’s action on Monday is a “wonderful” development. “Thank God this is over for this year,” she said. “Although we will probably see this bill again next session, we are very pleased that it was passed by for this year,” she said.
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You can see what radical Sierra Club-funded mouthpieces have to say about this environmentalist bill by going here and here.
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If you're keeping track, SB564 had five co-patrons. They were:
• Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, Democrat, northern Virginia
• Senator Janet Howell, Democrat, northern Virginia
• Senator Ralph S. Northam, Democrat, eastern Virginia
• Senator David W. Marsden, Democrat, northern Virginia
• Delegate Charniele L. Herring, Democrat, northern Virginia
A note to those of you living in the coalfields: These six Democrats will tell you they are working to protect you and your way of life by throwing you out of work. You decide.