(Bloomberg) — There isn’t much that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Sierra Club agree on, but one of those rare things is a measure that’s part of the bipartisan infrastructure package to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives later this month that would fund $11.3 billion to remediate coal mines abandoned before 1977.
It’s essentially a taxpayer subsidy of a polluting industry and yet it has plenty of support on both sides of the political aisle.
Coal’s harm is well known, and bipartisan consensus arose for reasons both environmental and economic. Abandoned mines pose both a physical danger as well as a climate threat.
They leak copious amounts of methane — a greenhouse gas 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide over its first 20 years. And fixing those myriad problems creates jobs for small businesses — particularly in former coal states like, yes, Kentucky, which McConnell represents.
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