Jim Gooch

Kentucky GOP, Dems working in tandem to destroy EPA

October 11, 2011
By David M. F. Schankula

There was a good story out over the weekend that serves as a friendly reminder to any Kentucky Dems still stubbornly denying  their own party is controlled by global-warming deniers and environmental enemies. (No, really, some of them are still out there, insisting that Ben and Steve deserve our support and usually they get very defensive when you mention this topic. It’s sad.)

Article comes from Scott Wartman up at the Cincinatti.com/NKY.com team:

The Environmental Protection Agency has shouldered much of the blame from Kentucky politicians for the struggling economy during the 2011 campaigns.

Both Democrats and Republicans have criticized the EPA for what they see as job-inhibiting regulations.

The refusal of 19 mine permits in eastern Kentucky prompted Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear to plead with President Obama – both in person and through a letter -to relax EPA policies to relax EPA policies to allow the mines to open.

Let’s pause here for a moment.

For as great as this article is, it’s taken Governor Beshear’s word for the fact that he “pleaded” (like, down on his knees with tears streaking his face and his hands clutched together in subservience?) with President Obama “in person.”

As we have already pointed out here, only the most gullible person could actually believe Governor Beshear’s wildly unlikely story about giving Barry O the what-for — in just about 90 seconds, Beshear claims (lies, really) he insulted the President’s intelligence, told the President a bunch of stuff about infrastructure the President already knows, accused him of being an ineffective leader (pot, kettle, if ever there was…) and then started yelling at the President about the EPA. [Read all about it.]

If that story actually happened the way Beshear claims it did, he wouldn’t deserve your vote because everything expressed is offensive to your personal beliefs but instead because to cover all that in 90 seconds with the President of the United States, Steve would have to be out of his gourd crazy, a screeching, fast-talking wild-eyed beast not fit for office.

But. Enough about all that. Let’s get back to the article about the Dems colluding with the GOP to poison you by rolling back EPA regulations and environmental protections because the EPA and the Muslim President are killing all our jobs:

But reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other organizations show government regulations account for a small portion of job losses.

Ohhhh. Oh. Wait. So both the Republican Party and the Kentucky Democratic Party are lying or stupid. That’s reassuring.

Let’s hear from each of you!

The furor over the EPA and other federal regulations will only get louder, said U.S. Rep Geoff Davis, R-Hebron.

“I think the battle of regulations is a turning point over what America will become,” Davis said. “American people have lost transparency in the reach of the regulatory state.”

Davis, of course, is the draintrust behind the REINS Act, the GOP’s #1 “Jobs” Bill that does nothing to create jobs but does a lot to poison our air, poison our water and increase corporate profits.

Both candidates for attorney general, Republican Todd P’Pool and Democratic incumbent Jack Conway, have said they believe the EPA has overstepped its bounds in Kentucky…..

“The EPA says your runoff has to be the equivalent of distilled bottled water,” P’Pool said. “That’s like suggesting the speed limit should be 5 miles per hour.”

Conway said he’s already challenged the EPA on several issues, including filing suit in 2009 against the EPA’s attempt to regulate carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

The article grazes over Rand Paul next, but everyone knows where Rand stands on this issue, so let’s skip ahead…

[Bruce Scott, commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection] and Kentucky Coal Association president Bill Bissett testified this week before state legislators on the detrimental impact the delay of these permits has on Kentucky.

….The EPA found few allies among the state legislators at the hearing this week. “It is clear what their agenda is,” said Rep. Jim Gooch, D-Providence. “Their agenda is to stop coal mining.”

That’s good. Governor Beshear’s appointed Environmental “Protection” czar is hanging with King Coal. Way to go, KDP! Let’s all pat ourselves on the backs.

Hmm. Backs. Oh, right. It’s that time again:

You may want to read the rest of the article, especially if you’re a damned fool who’s been elected to public office and keeps on insisting that getting rid of the protections that keep people safe and alive will some how create jobs. It’s farcical, but that’s what our Democratic and Republican leaders are claiming.


Rand Paul’s pipeline principle not totally off-the-wall… by Kentucky standards

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September 30, 2011
By David M. F. Schankula

Newly minted news celebrity Mr. Sonka clarifies for new observers of Kentucky politics that Rand Paul is hardly alone in his anti-regulation/anti-environment/anti-safety principles… it’s something of a requirement when it comes to Kentucky Politicians…

The chair of our House environmental committee, Jim Gooch (a “Democrat”), is a global warming-denying EPA-fighter who blocks any type of progressive legislation in Frankfort that restricts the coal industry in any way from even getting a hearing, let alone a vote. Yes, the Democratic leadership fights to make sure that he maintains his chairmanship.

And we have Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler, who not only votes against regulation of Wall Street (a year after they caused the biggest economic meltdown in 80 years, no less), but recently voted to block EPA regulations on mercury emissions from power plants (not to mention a series of votes in the past year to cut back funding and power of the EPA).

And then of course…. Gov. GET OFF OUR BACKS!




Kentucky Coal Companies Evade Safety Regulations… while KY Dem declares a "War on Kentucky"

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June 6, 2011
By David M. F. Schankula

The Gannett Newspapers report:

The Kentucky coal industry’s compliance with U.S. surface mining regulations dropped sharply from 2008 to 2010, while the environmental impact of the violations has worsened, federal records show.

A U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement report analyzing state enforcement of the federal surface mining and reclamation law shows the industry’s compliance rate in Kentucky dropped from 87 percent of surveyed mining sites in 2007 and 2008 to 65 percent in 2010.

The most common violations involved water quality, permit administration, and backfilling and grading, the report said — often harming water, land, structures and people beyond the mining site.

The agency found that as the compliance levels dropped, the frequency of such problems as water pollution violations, landslides or flying rock have risen — from 3 percent of mine sites in 2000 to 21 percent last year.

Meanwhile, Roger Alford @ the AP highlights the hot trend sweeping Kentucky:

The Democratic chairman of the Kentucky House Natural Resources and Environment Committee became the latest state politician on Thursday to criticize the federal government for tougher environmental standards on coal-fired power generating plants.

State Rep. Jim Gooch Jr., who represents mining communities in western Kentucky, complained in a legislative hearing that tougher standards have utilities asking to impose environmental surcharges on customers to recoup billions of dollars that will have to be spent on improving pollution control at coal-fired plants.

“Everybody talks about the war on coal,” Gooch said. “This is a war on Kentucky.”

A war on Kentucky!

That’s right folks. Where’s Paul Revere when you need him? Barry Hussein’s statist shock troops and Black Panther Child Army are coming to clean your water and keep your kids from being poisoned.

The horror.

And what a good job they’re doing… so damned good, our besieged Coal Companies are evading safety regulations.

Alford’s AP article also gives some love to David Williams, Mitch McConnell and Steve “GET OFF OUR BACKS” Beshear for standing with Gooch on the front lines of this battlefield with the Feds.

Sadly, no mention of Ben Chandler or, say, his battle to ensure toxic coal ash isn’t actually considered toxic.

There’s a war on folks. You’re either with Kentucky or you’re with the terrorists.


Greg Stumbo, you’re part of the problem

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May 6, 2011
By Joe Sonka

Jim Gooch, Kentucky’s global warming denying Frank Simon-endorsed secessionist “Democratic” chair of the House Natural Resources & Environment Committee, recently decided to fork over money to Jack Conway’s Republican opponent. We noted that this embarrassment of a representative could have only attained this position with the support of Speaker Greg Stumbo.

So, did any of you really think that Greg Stumbo was going to be upset by Gooch’s contribution? I sure hope not:

In a statement, Stumbo said there are no plans for action against Gooch, who is chairman of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee.

“Rep. Gooch can spend money he earned in any legal manner he sees fit,” Stumbo said. “Two, we don’t have any reason to question his political statements; those are his beliefs. Three, we have no plans to discipline him, and I won’t support any effort to discipline him. He has the right to free speech. All in all, I support Jack where he is, and I support Jim where he is.”

Thanks Greg. You’re part of the problem.


cn|2: The Gooch donates to Conway’s opponent

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May 2, 2011
By Joe Sonka

THANK GOD Greg Stumbo has fought for Jim Gooch to remain the chair of KY’s House Natural Resources & Environment Committee:

When reached by phone, Gooch told Pure Politics he decided to support P’Pool financially because they come from the same region and share like-minded views on federal regulations, coal and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Gooch said he did not speak to Conway, a fellow Democrat, about support for Conway’s re-election bid. Gooch added that he personally liked Conway, but didn’t support Conway’s positions.

“I think generally too often (Conway) tries to support things President Obama comes up with, like health care reform,” Gooch said in a phone interview. “… We need someone in that office who will fight Obama and his policies. I believe that’s what many Kentuckians want. Anyone not standing up to (Obama’s) agenda is not standing up for Kentuckians.

Thanks, Speaker Stumbo! And to think all of those dirty liberals criticized you for keeping Gooch in the Democratic leadership. You sure proved them wrong.


Two birds with one rotten stone

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March 10, 2011
By Joe Sonka

Kentucky is currently making a killing off of blowing up its mountains, dumping waste in the valley streams, burning the sweet goodies inside, leaving its waste to stew next to poor communities, and spraying grass seed on the flat barren moonscape of rocks that is left behind.

Sure, coal takes in more tax dollars than it contributes and pollutes our water, but it is a vital component of Kentucky’s strategy for Winning the Future (for example, Hal Rogers’ district remains #1 in the nation… in poverty, depression and cancer).

But how can Kentucky build off of the economic juggernaut that is the coal industry, and reach even greater heights?

Well, let’s take a look at Kentucky’s new cash crop of the future: garbage.

Like prisoners, trash shipments can be big business for states willing to accept them. Kentucky, for example, has room for 212 million tons of waste. At the going rate of $29 per ton, that’s a $6 billion economic opportunity.


Though Kentucky is losing money and coal mining jobs by flattening its mountains, we can make up for this loss and replace our mountains with… mountains of trash!


Becomes this:

See, you wouldn’t even know that this was a mountain off trash if you drove by it on I-75. Well, you would if you lived next to it, sure, but who really cares about those people? They should be grateful that living next to landfills these days isn’t even close to being as bad as living next to coal ash ponds.

Now I know what you must be thinking. Won’t this interfere with all of the great things that Kentucky is building on 3% of the land flattened by mountaintop removal mining? It’s a good point, but think of it this way. Would people rather go adventure touristing with their 4-wheeler on some barren rocky moonscape, or would you rather go wheelin’ on some wicked dump jumps? No contest.

So get off our backs Obama, and get on our trash mountains!

Shocking that The Gooch hasn’t proposed this yet. But there’s always 2012…


The Gooch, Bell, Horlander helped KY GOP kill the payday cap bill

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February 18, 2011
By Joe Sonka

Deborah Yetter at the CJ has the vote count on HB 182, which was killed in committee two days ago. The bill would have put a 36% cap on payday loans, but was defeated due to the “defection” of three “Democrats”: Jim Gooch, Johnny Bell, and Dennis Horlander.

The next KREF report for those three should be very interesting…


Welfare King Coal whines about government oppression

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February 17, 2011
By Joe Sonka

Despite the fact that the coal industry gets billions of dollars in federal subsidies every year, and sucks up $115 million more from our state government than it contributes, guess who’s whining about the big bad government in Kentucky?

Enter The Gooch (but not The Grammar):

“The EPA don’t understand mining,” House Natural Resources and Environment Chairman Jim Gooch, D-Providence, said at his committee’s hearing. “We’re trying to say to those folks, we don’t want them having ultimate say or control.”

That’s right, Jim Gooch just wants to roll around in his welfare money, but he doesn’t want anyone telling him that he can’t pollute the water that we drink here.

What say you, crooked-as-hell Rep. Keith Hall?

“We hope it goes to the Supreme Court so we can go argue our case there,” said Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, who is in the coal mining business. “As a member who owns 1,200 acres, when I have intrusion by the federal government that tells me what I can and cannot do with my own property … I call that a taking.”

What I call “a taking” is coal companies taking out tax dollars, then thinking they can pollute without any government regulation whatsoever.

What say you, other Gooch?

“The EPA — these are not elected officials,” David Gooch said. “They are career bureaucrats who sit in their ivory tower in Washington, D.C., and decide what the science should be.”

Or you could say that they are people that actually know what science is and are out in the field enforcing the laws of the United States, which is their legal responsibility to do.

Here comes Tom Fitzgerald of the Kentucky Resources Council to spoil the dirty black fun:

“The EPA for the better part of the last 20 years was not able to enforce the rules and be sure that the Clean Water Act was being enforced,” FitzGerald said. “I think the EPA is acting well within the science. What we need to do is focus our efforts on better mine engineering and managing the spoil materials in ways that lower the introduction of sulfates and other pollutants.”

Yeah, you know who else said that? Stalin.

Anyway, committees in both the State House and Senate passed bills today to get the damned EPA off King Coal’s back, which are sure to be signed by Steve Beshear if they can get past the full House.

But don’t worry, the coal companies will still take our subsidies and tax breaks. After all, it just wouldn’t be fair if they had to follow the law and support themselves.


Hot and Wet

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January 12, 2011
By Joe Sonka

In fact, 2010 was the hottest and wettest year in recorded history.

But Jim Gooch assures us that there’s nothing to see here, because those two scientists in England sent each other emails and stuff.

And remember, kids: treason in defense of coal slurry is no vice!


Jim Gooch: "Secession is an option"

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January 7, 2011
By Joe Sonka

The most embarrassing legislator in Kentucky has outdone himself. Today, when referring to EPA regulations on mountaintop removal mining, he threw out this as an option for Kentucky:

“Secession is an option.”

Yes, he really said that.

I know this is a bold statement, but of all the insane things that King Coal shill Jim Gooch has ever said in public, I think this has to rank at the top.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know already, Gooch is the Democratic chair of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee.

One more thing to note: has anyone ever seen Jim Gooch and Basil Childress in the same room together? Just asking.

(h/t NRDC)

UPDATE: If Jim Gooch succeeds in his secession movement, I’m sure that Rand Paul’s “private security force” will step up to the plate for him. I mean, us.





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