Republicans Stall Senate Vote on Mountaintop Removal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Senate has voted to delay for three weeks a vote on a proposal to halt mountaintop removal coal mining in Tennessee.
The decision came despite the objections of the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Eric Stewart of Winchester, who called for a vote Monday evening.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said the delay is aimed at finding a compromise on the measure, and not an effort to kill the bill by holding it until relevant committees finish their business for the year.
The measure seeks to deny permits that would alter any ridgeline more than 2,000 above sea level. Stewart said he opposes a Republican amendment attached that would continue to permit current practices.

Note: The vote to defer the bill over Stewart’s protest was along party lines, Republicans wanting to delay it; Democrats against. The bill (SB577) is up Tuesday in a House subcommittee where it has died in years past.

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