Jason Plummer, the GOP nominee for the 12th U.S. House District, promised Wednesday to bolster Illinois' struggling coal industry by supporting the "Stop the War on Coal Act," which the Republican-led House is set to vote on within the next week.
"Southern Illinois has an abundance of natural resources, but these industries have been decimated by over-regulation from the federal government," Plummer told reporters during a conference call.
Despite its large coal reserves, the "12th District has seen its coal mining jobs leave the area, largely due to bad public policy and rules from the Environmental Proteciton Agency."
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, who joined Plummer on the conference call, said voters "must send someone to Congress who is not ambivalent about coal, and that person is Jason Plummer. You must be 100-percent behind the coal industry if you want to save these jobs."
A GOP-sponsored package of bills, the "Stop the War on Coal Act" would end the EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, the chief source of human-made global warming.
In addition, the GOP package would severely curtail planned EPA rules to regulate coal ash, a waste product of coal-fired power plants; and it would limit tentative U.S. Department of Interior rules regarding coal mining wastes.
The U.S. House is set to vote later this week on the coal friendly proposals in probably the last chance for legislative work to occur before the Nov. 6 election.
Plummer, 30, a Fairview Heights businessman, is competing against Democratic nominee Bill Enyart, 62, a Belleville attorney and retired Illinois National Guard commander, and Green Party nominee Paula Bradshaw, 59, a Carbondale emergency room nurse.
The three nominees are vying to replace U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, who is retiring after 24 years in office.