Stream Saver Bill heard in committee, vote pending until Monday

Stream Saver Bill heard in committee, vote pending until Monday
Truman testifying on the Stream Saver (by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth)
KFTC member Truman Hurt testifying this evening on the Stream Saver bill

The hearing on the "Stream Saver" legislation continued today with over two hours of testimony before the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. It was the coal industry's turn to present its case, which they did with several witnesses.

The thrust of their testimony was that this was "an anti-mining bill" that would wreak havoc on the industry with all kinds of repercussions for jobs and taxes. They also touted the positive aspects of their mining practices - particularly the uses for reclaimed land. They did not acknowledge the tremendous impact that mining has on water resources, but did show a picture of a "volunteer" tree growing in a rock-lined ditch that replaced a stream.

Rep. Jim Wayne challenged the industry's exaggerated statements, reminding Bill Caylor that he predicted the demise of the coal industry if a net metering bill passed in 2004 (it did). He asked the industry representatives to respond to EPA findings that restrictions on valley fills would have a negligible impact on the cost of coal and ultimately electricity, and they dodged the question.

Both Rep. Harry Moberly and KFTC's Teri Blanton pointed out that there was nothing in today's testimony that refuted the strong scientific evidence presented yesterday on the irreparable damage done by valley fills to the ecological health of streams.

KFTC's Truman Hurt also presented strong testimony: "With over 40 years of regulation and millions of dollars spent and million of man hours trying to regulate this industry, after 40 years we have nothing better than we began with. Water [is] our greatest resource in eastern Kentucky. It's not the coal. And the facts are we are doing nothing to stop the filling of our creek and streams.

"Are we going to be asked to continue to bear the brunt of cheap energy? Are we going to be forced to continue to pay the price and then ship the poisons down to you fellows and let you pay some of it, too? I think it's time to do some responsible mining. That's what we're asking for."

By the time the testimony concluded (after 7 p.m.), many committee members had left. Committee chair Rep. Moberly decided to delay a vote "until everybody's here." That could come any day (probably Monday at 10 a.m., subject to change) when the committee next meets.


First, thanks to everyone who came to either of the hearings the last two days. You can be sure our strong presence in the room was noted. Thanks also to everyone who left messages, sent faxes or talked directly to legislators. Our persistence lets them know this issue is important, that many people care about it, and that we are paying attention to how they vote.

We're asking you to continue with these efforts.

1. If you can come to the committee meeting on Monday (March 10) at 10 a.m., please do so. There will be no more testimony, only a vote, so it should not take long. We want to have a significant presence in the room (154 of the Capitol Annex). But please, check the KFTC web site or call a KFTC organizer before you come in case the meeting is changed.

2. Please continue to contact members of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee asking their support for this legislation. Note: there is NO bill number (the operator will ask you for one) at this time. Rest assured, committee members will know what legislation you're talking about.

You can use the Legislative Message Line (800-372-7181) and leave a message for all House Appropriations and Revenue Committee members with one phone call. The message line is open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Thursday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

The names of House A&R Committee members are below. If one of them is your representative, please make a special effort to talk to him or her and ask for their support. Besides the message line, you can fax legislators at 502-564-6543 or you can call them directly at 502-564-8100.

You can also go to online to find the home phone number of your representative if you would want to contact them over the weekend.


"Your support for Rep. Pasley's stream saver legislation is very important. Please vote YES for an end to the dumping of mines wastes into our headwater streams."

House Appropriations and Revenue Committee

  • Harry Moberly (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • Royce Adams (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • John Arnold
  • Scott Brinkman
  • Dwight Butler
  • Larry Clark
  • James Comer
  • Jesse Crenshaw (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • Mike Denham
  • Bob DeWeese
  • Danny Ford
  • Derrick Graham (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • Keith Hall
  • Jimmy Higdon
  • Jimmie Lee (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • Lonnie Napier (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • Rick Nelson
  • Fred Nesler
  • Don Pasley (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • Marie Rader
  • Rick Rand (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • Charles Siler
  • Arnold Simpson (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • John Will Stacy
  • Tommy Turner
  • John Vincent
  • Jim Wayne (HB 164 cosponsor)
  • Robin Webb
  • Brent Yonts

Many, many thanks for all you have done to support this great cause.

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