Bill to Stop ‘Mountaintop Removal’ Killed for Another Year

A House subcommittee voted 6-4 to kill legislation banning so-called “mountaintop removal” coal mining in Tennessee for the year, instead calling for another study of the issue.
The committee move came over the protests of Rep. Mike McDonald, D-Portland, who pleaded for a straight vote on the bill (HB291).
Mountaintop removal bills have been “delayed, delayed and delayed” since 2008 with repeated studies, he said, and as a “legislative courtesty” lawmakers should allow a vote in his final months in office. McDonald has announced he will not seek reelection.
But Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, said he made the motion because he is undecided about the legislation, being against “blowing the tops off of mountains” but also for “property rights.”
“We want to get it right,” said Floyd.
He said the move was not aimed at stalling, but to have a “true summer study” by the subcommittee on the merits of the idea.
The subcommittee vote comes after the Senate recently postponed a floor vote on the bill over objections of the sponsor there, Sen. Eric Stewart, D-Belvidere. Now that the bill cannot pass the House,

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