The bill is a reaction to pending EPA rules that Republicans say would create more than $100 billion in compliance costs for coal-burning power plants, and lead to thousands of lost jobs. The topic of jobs took center stage during the rule debate, as Democrats argued that the House should stop seeking to delay EPA rules and instead focus on jobs.
"I am struggling to understand why the EPA continues to put out rules in a vacuum," Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said. "The EPA's proposal to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste threatens industry's ability to recycle this material into beneficial use. This … is jeopardizing jobs all across America."
Scott also argued that giving states the flexibility to regulate coal ash on their own would save up to 316,000 jobs. "I'm going to call that a jobs bill," he said.
Debate on the bill and six amendments to it are expected later Friday, along with final passage of the bill.