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House Democrats push to resume mining health study

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine should not halt work on a study of the health effects of mountaintop coal mining, the Democrat members of several House committees have told interior secretary Ryan Zinke.

In August, the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement told the Academy to stop the study in September, citing budget concerns. But in a letter addressed to Zinke on 25 August, Democrat lawmakers pointed out that the funding for the study came from the fiscal year 2016 budget, and that the OSMRE budget for fiscal year 2017 was $12.6 million more than the previous year.

“Cancellation would not improve the budget situation…and would result in the waste of approximately $400,000,” the letter said.

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