Senators working against EPA rules receive 17 times more cash from coal industry: Maplight

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bucket of coal
A bucket of coal used to heat the home of Centralia Mayor John Lokitis can be seen in his living room in Centralia, Pennsylvania December 18, 2007. The worst underground coal mine fire in U.S. history has been burning beneath Centralia for nearly 46 years. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

The U.S. Senate passed two resolutions on Tuesday to stop the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, from cutting carbon emissions and to reduce pollution from coal-fired plants. A new report shows that majority of votes may come from senators who received 17 times more campaign money from coal industry interest groups.

The report comes from the analysis of the Maplight organisation, an independent research group tracking the influence of money in politics. The analysis, published on Thursday, shows that coal industry groups provided more campaign donations to senators who voted against the coal regulations of EPA since April 2009.

Maplight stated that 52 lawmakers received an average of US$75,802 (AU$105,256) from the coal mining industry in the past six years, which covers 17 times higher than the senators working against coal mining. The group supporting EPA only received US$4,464 (AU$6,198) from coal industry donations.

Among the group of senators against the EPA rules, Maplight shows that 13 have received more than US$100,000 (AU$138,857) over the six-year period.

The regulations from EPA would mandate states to cut power-plant emissions by 32 per cent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The agency also aims to halt the construction of U.S. coal plants.

On Tuesday, two resolutions were passed by the senate to stop the EPA rules, coming from the 52-46 vote of senators. The regulations involve the Clean Power Plan, designed to reduce carbon emissions from coal power plants, and another that would cut pollution from new plants.

The White House said that President Barack Obama would reject the new resolutions as “the health and economic welfare of future generations” are at risk from the negative effects of increasing emissions, according to the CNBC.

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