The payroll tax bill sent by House Republicans to the U.S. Senate included two polluter poison pills, the Keystone XL provision for the oil industry and Boiler MACT language to protect toxic coal pollution. In an underreported move, the Senate stripped the coal poison pill. Now GOP members of the House are “committed” to put coal back in the Christmas stocking. They are willing to let the extension of the payroll tax cut die to attack the so-called Boiler MACT rules that would save tens of thousands of lives a year, according to The Hill and Politico:
— Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): “We are committed to the House-passed bill, including the boiler MACT language.”
— House Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) told The Hill that “he’d seek inclusion of the boiler MACT language in a final deal.”
— Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA): “We are hoping that does stay in.”
— Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH): “There were voices saying we should amend the Senate bill and put boiler MACT back in and send it back to them last night.”
— Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA): “Certainly I’d hope that we’d be able to get it in but, that being said, I understand the fluidity of negotiations and we’ll just have to see.”
Boehner, Upton, Murphy, LaTourette, and Griffith have received a combined $1,789,000 in contributions from the coal industry since 1999.