A conservative GOP freshman congressman from Ohio, Bill Johnson, has been attacking federal surface-mining regulation for costing jobs. It advances him politically. The only problem is that it does not seem to be true.
"Freshman Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) has been turning up the heat on Office of Surface Mining Director Joseph Pizarchik over the Obama administration's enhanced environmental review of coal mining. An exchange during a House Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing last month was indicative of their increasingly tense relationship -- and of Johnson's role as one of coal's top defenders on Capitol Hill.
Johnson asked Pizarchik, 'Is it safe to say, Mr. Director, that if you further restrict coal mining activity with an irresponsible rewrite of a rule that's already in place, that it's going to cost America jobs?'
'That is not safe to say,' Pizarchik responded sternly. Johnson shot back, 'It's not? How can you come to that conclusion?'"