“We can not afford to put Americans’ health at risk,” the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s chairman, Rep. Fred Upton, said on Tuesday.
“We cannot afford to lose our jobs.”
The bipartisan lawmakers who are pushing the legislation in the House include Upton, Upton’s Michigan counterpart, who was among the first to push for the legislation and has urged the administration to support it.
The bill aims to cut government subsidies for a wide range of fossil fuel companies and to help states offset rising energy costs with carbon capture and storage, a technology that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In the Senate, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., has led a group of Republican lawmakers pushing the bill in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“We must not let the coal industry continue to dominate our nation’s energy supply and future generations,” Barrasso said in a statement.
The Senate’s version of the legislation has passed the committee and is likely to be sent to the full Senate, which is likely on Thursday, and could pass the House by the end of the week.
The White House had said that the administration was reviewing the bill before it was introduced, but did not provide any additional details on its timing.
On Tuesday, the White House called on President Donald Trump to veto the bill, and said he would consider other steps that could be taken to support coal miners.
“The president is committed to making sure that our coal industry is protected and has the resources it needs to remain competitive,” the White to Trump Communications said in an emailed statement.
“He also believes that the industry should have a fair chance to compete on a level playing field.”
But White House spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Trump would consider “all options” to protect coal miners, including taking executive action, as long as the legislation “does not undermine the U.N. climate agreement.”
“The White house has consistently urged the president to veto this bill,” Nauert wrote.
“It is a clear threat to American jobs and our economic prosperity.
He has taken executive action to protect American coal miners.”
A bill that would phase out federal support for coal companies has been in the works for months.
Trump said last month he would not support the bill unless it was phased out and that he was considering ways to make it happen.
Environmental groups have argued that a phase-out of federal support to coal companies would harm the environment and that Trump’s position has not changed.
Trump also called on Congress to stop the subsidies for companies that contribute to climate change denial, and called on lawmakers to “end these tax breaks for polluters.”
The Senate bill would allow states to phase out subsidies for the coal and gas industries and would allow the Energy Department to cut federal support of those companies if it determined that doing so would harm American workers.
It also would end subsidies to the coal companies that currently receive a large share of federal money.
In response to the criticism, Upton said the coal mining industry is “a very profitable industry, but it is not a green job generator.
It is a job destroyer.””
It is an industry that has a very hard time competing against the alternatives that are out there,” Upton said.
The U.K. also voted to phase-in the subsidies last month, as did France, Spain and Germany.
Germany’s parliament approved a package last month to phase in subsidies to coal mining companies, and Spain’s parliament is expected to take up a similar proposal on Tuesday, according to a news release.