Dem  GOP    Vote: 123  H R 3797 15-MAR-2016
Yes 231 3
No 183 175
No Vote 19 10
Present 0  

Coal Refuse, Air Pollution
A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it appeared likely to fail.

Voting 231 for and 183 against, the House on March 15, 2016, passed a bill (HR 3797) that would provide power plants using coal refuse as their primary fuel with relief from two air-quality rules. These plants would be allowed higher emissions of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid and mercury than the rules prescribe for 2017 and later years. The rules are the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants (MATS). Backers said the bill was pro-environment in that it would help utilities burn off millions of tons of refuse from piles that are despoiling the air and leaching into streams. Opponents said the bill would shift coal-refuse pollution from land to air and then to waterways, fish, drinking water and human consumption.

A mining byproduct, coal refuse contains lower BTU combustion values and higher concentrations of lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic and other pollutants than are found in normal coal. Most of the 20 or so U.S. plants using coal refuse as their main fuel for generating electricity are located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Sponsor Keith Rothfus, R-Pa., said that without his bill, "Coal refuse-to-energy facilities will close, and their environmental mediation efforts will end. Contrary to the claims of...supposedly environmentalist opponents, (this) is a pro-environment bill."

Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said: "While there may be benefits to burning waste coal to generate electricity, it can and should be done in a manner that avoids undue air pollution. Otherwise, the problems that now exist on land and in the water will simply be transferred to the air and spread out over a larger area."

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it appeared likely to fail.
   Display Votes    
Illinois Tally
Enyart, Bill (D-12 )   YEA Belleville, IL  
Bustos, Cheri (D-17 )   NAY East Moline, IL  
Davis, Danny (D-7 )   NV Chicago, IL  
Davis, Rodney (R-13 )   YEA Taylorville, IL  
Schneider, Brad (D-10)   NAY Deerfield, IL  
Duckworth, Tammy (D-8 )   NV Hoffman Estates, IL  
Foster, Bill (D-11)   NAY Geneva, IL  
Gutierrez, Luis (D-4 )   NV Chicago, IL  
Hultgren, Randy (R-14 )   YEA Winfield, IL  
Kelly, Robin (D-2 )   NAY Chicago, IL  
Kinzinger, Adam (R-16 )   YEA Manteno, IL  
Schock, Aaron (R-18 )   YEA Peoria, IL  
Lipinski, Dan (D-3 )   NV Western Springs, IL  
Quigley, Mike (D-5 )   NAY Chicago, IL  
Roskam, Peter (R-6 )   NV Bensenville, IL  
Rush, Bobby (D-1 )   NV Chicago, IL  
Schakowsky, Jan (D-9 )   NAY Evanston, IL  
Shimkus, John (R-15 )   YEA Collinsville, IL