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McConnell blasts EPA over regulations

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused President Barack Obama's administration Wednesday of declaring war on Kentucky's coal industry through onerous regulations and said it is time for Congress to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency.

Speaking at a meeting of the Kentucky Coal Association in Lexington, McConnell also called for Senate passage of a bill he is co-sponsoring to require the EPA to "act within a reasonable time frame" in handling mining permits.

Bill Bissett, president of the association, said some permits have been pending as long as five years, and applicants do not know how to proceed.

McConnell's proposed Mining Jobs Protection Act, also co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and James Inhofe, R-Okla., would benefit the coal industry, Bissett said.

"We are basically in a game of time management with regulators that we cannot win," he said.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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