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Cuccinelli Goes After Federal Mining Agency

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is the latest federal agency drawing the ire of Virginia's attorney general.

Republican Ken Cuccinelli says a recent series of directives by the agency is infringing on the states' authority to regulate surface mining. In a letter Thursday to the agency's director, Cuccinelli said the OSM is trying to establish itself as "a Super Regulatory Authority" that can review and possibly overrule state permitting decisions. He said that exceeds the agency's oversight duties authorized by Congress.

He threatened to sue if the OSM doesn't back off.

Cuccinelli has already sued the federal government over the new health care law and regulation of greenhouse gasses.

The agency had not received Cuccinelli's letter Friday and had no immediate comment.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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