Wed
Apr 2 2008
11:19 am

The House Environment subcommittee voted against HB3348 that would ban mountaintop removal mining in Tennessee.

The Senate Environment, Conservation, and Tourism committee is scheduled to hear companion bill SB3822 a second time today.Today's KNS has an editorial on issue.

UPDATE: Sen. Tommy Kilby has blocked a vote on the bill in the Senate committee. Kilby is bullying committee members, and they don't like it. Notes taking during live video stream after the jump...

UPDATE: Tom Humphrey files this report on the House subcommittee vote. Voting against the bill were William Baird, R-Jacksboro; George Fraley, D-Winchester; Joe McCord, R-Maryville; Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains; and John Tidwell, D-New Johnsonville.

UPDATE: Just came up in Senate committee. Sen. Finney requested postponement until next week. Chair Sen. Tommy Kilby advises that any bill killed by the House would not come to a vote in his Senate committee. Finney argues that committee chair does not have the authority to kill a bill.

Sen. Doug Jackson argues that three member of the House should not be able to dictate the Senate committee's hearings. Members have the right to have their bills scheduled and heard. Kilby will confer with the clerk of the Senate on rules. Says he has been very fair, heard several presentations, heard more than any bill on their calendar. Jackson says there is nothing in Senate rule book preventing debate and vote on bills killed in House subcommittees. Has never heard of a member's request to have his bill heard being rejected.

Sen. Bunch says rules allow for two ways the House can have the bill heard, one if Committee pulls it up for rehearing, or second if House members request vote on the floor. Does not expect the House to do either, but the bill will be back next year regardless, and it needs an accurate fiscal impact note, and does not think the committee has adequate information to vote now. Doesn't trust information being provided by proponents. A major bill that we need to move slowly on. Needs more study, perhaps a summer study.

Sen. Steve Roller wants to move forward with the bill, either next week, or with a study committee, because this is an important issue.

Sen. Kilby says if it continues, he will be making comments about how this bill affects his community, and Sen. Finney's district where development is being done on mountains that he doesn't like either, but he hasn't followed up on it because it's not his district.

They are now hearing from the AG's office on recent rulings about legality of the legislation. It does not appear there will be a vote today in the Senate committee, at best it will be next week.

Factchecker's picture

Tenn big bidness as usual

I figured our Rep. Nicely would vote against. What a coal wh*re. He needs to be turned out of office, as do the rest of these who voted against. Wonder how many individuals, as opposed to lobbyists or developers, actually contacted these legislators in opposition? More than 5 or 10?

Thanks to those fighting to keep the bills alive.

Bbeanster's picture

One more reason to be sad that Frank Buck is retiring

Frank Buck, who is not a member of the subcommittee, but has voting rights as chairman of the full committee, came to the subcommittee meeting to try to save the bill. He was one of the three yes votes, and he argued for it.

Frank Nicely leaned on a weak "yes" vote and flipped it during the meeting. He has one of the WORST environmental records in the entire legislature.

Please, SOMEBODY run against him. 24 hours till filing deadline....

WhitesCreek's picture

Link...

jbr's picture

I am going to look around

I am going to look this evening as I am curious to see to whom National Coal has made campaign contributions.

Tennessee Online Campaign Finance Database
(link...)

Lisa Starbuck's picture

Ridiculous

I happen to know that these folks received dozens of emails that were generated by people I solicited from my email list because many of them copied me on it. I don't understand how these sorry excuses for legislators can say they are representing their constituents when I KNOW there had to be hundreds if not thousands of emails and calls asking them to support the bill to prevent mountaintop removal from coming to Tennessee.

Miss Ogyny's picture

Well done

Thanx for the report and an important list of names.

The people that oppose this legislation are the fucking enemy.

jonesborough's picture

mountain top removal

Amen to Ms. Ogyny

these sold out pols are traitors to this country, this state, and the districts they "represent", not to mention
our planet.
applicable penalties should apply. If they are big "family values" hypocrits, it should apply to their families as well.

Brian A.'s picture

Wow

Look at the recent movement in the price of coal.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

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