House Passes Extra-Terrible Pro-Coal Bill Before Heading Home

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=79708603&rid=623645">antoni halim</a>/Shutterstock

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One of the difficult things about being a policy-minded environmental blogger these days is deciding what merits weighing in on. The House passes crazy measures rolling back environmental and health protections, and then the Senate…just does nothing with those bills. But on Friday, the House passed a monumentally terrible bill that is worth pointing out, as it would undo many laws—old and new—dealing with coal.

The “Stop the War on Coal Act” (H.R. 3409) would take away the power to regulate a lot of things—mountaintop-removal coal mining, greenhouse gas emissions, coal ash disposal, mercury and air toxins. Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee calls the the legislation the “single worst anti-environment bill to be considered in the House this Congress.”

It’s just all kinds of bad—throwing out many rules dealing with coal and preventing the EPA and the Department of Interior from regulating in the future. That includes both coal mining and coal burning in power plants. The House passed the bill by a vote of 233 to 175, which included 19 Democrats who voted for it as well. This is the last vote the House will take before the election, which is no coincidence. The bill isn’t going pass; it’s only meant to be an instrument to bludgeon Obama and other Democrats, which has been very clear from Republicans’ remarks.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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