Menendez Opposes Interior Nominee Over Environmental Concerns

Menendez Opposes Interior Nominee Over Environmental Concerns

Questions on Pizarchik related to coal ash disposal, mountain-top mining

Washington - Today in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) went on the record in opposition to the nomination of Jospeh Pizarchik to be the US Department Interior's Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Menendez released the following statement after the Committee's business meeting, citing questions about Pizarchik's views on coal ash disposal and mountain-top mining:

"Transitioning to a new clean energy economy requires people who are willing to break free from the inertia of doing things the way they have always been done. Unfortunately, I do not believe that Mr. Pizarchik is one of these people. In this position, he would be a key part of a team that will decide two vital issues: how we dispose of coal ash and how we regulate mountain top removal mining. From what I have heard from community groups in Pennsylvania, from my own questioning of him in committee, his answers to my written inquiries, and a follow up meeting with my staff, I do not believe Mr. Pizarchik is willing to look at these issues with a fresh eye. When the matter at hand is the very health and safety of our citizens and the beauty of our landscapes, I simply cannot take the chance that our government will simply do more of the same."

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