Kentucky lawmakers say EPA is over-regulating coal industry

FRANKFORT, KY (AP) - Lawmakers in Kentucky are threatening to give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the boot, complaining the agency is over-regulating the state's coal industry.

Senate Energy and Environment Committee Chairman Brandon Smith said Wednesday the EPA's actions are threatening the economic security of Kentuckians and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The Republican says he is sponsoring a legislative proposal that makes Kentucky a "sanctuary state," out of reach of the EPA. He says the intent is to send a message to the Obama administration that the EPA needs to be reined in from what he sees as actions aimed at hindering an industry employing some 18,000 Kentuckians.

Smith, whose district includes Kentucky's coalfields, said his committee may vote Thursday on the popular but unenforceable proposal.

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