Western Caucus Introduces Barrage of Bills to Block Job-Killing Obama Regulations

Jan 30, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) and members of the Congressional Western Caucus will introduce 10 bills to overturn several last minute regulations from the Obama Administration utilizing the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA utilizes an expedited legislative process that requires a simple majority in both the House and Senate as well as a signature by the President in order to nullify an entire regulation.

The following bills will be introduced in the coming days:

  1. H.J. Res. 36, a CRA bill that blocks the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Venting and Flaring Rule by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) 
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE. A full list of cosponsors can be found HERE.
  1. H.J. Res. 38, a CRA bill that blocks the Office of Surface Mining’s (OSM) Stream Protection Rule (SPR) by Reps. David B. McKinley P.E. (WV-01), Bill Johnson (OH-06) and Evan Jenkins (WV-03).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE. A full list of cosponsors can be found HERE.
  1. H.J. Res. 44, a CRA bill that blocks the BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule by Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-At Large).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE. A full list of cosponsors can be found HERE.
  1. H.J. Res. 45, a CRA bill that blocks the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Oil and Gas Refuge Rule by Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND-At Large).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE. A full list of cosponsors can be found HERE.
     
  2. H.J. Res. 56, a CRA bill that blocks the BLM’s Onshore Order 3 Rule by Chairman Emeritus Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE.
  1. H.J. Res. 59, a CRA bill that blocks the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act Rule (RMP rule) by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE.
  1. H.J. Res. 60, a CRA bill that blocks the FWS Compensatory Mitigation Policy by Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-04).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE. A full list of endorsements can be found HERE,
  1. H.J. Res. 47, a CRA bill that blocks the Arctic Drilling Rule by Rep. Don Young (AK-At Large).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE. A full list of cosponsors can be found HERE.
  1. H.J. Res. 55, CRA bill that blocks the ONRR’s Amendment to Civil Penalty Regulations by Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE. A full list of endorsements can be found HERE.
  1. H.J. Res. 46, a CRA bill that blocks the National Park Service’s (NPS) Oil and Gas Rule by Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S and Rep. Diane Black (TN-06).
    A full list of endorsements can be found HERE. A full list of cosponsors can be found HERE.

“After eight years of issuing onerous, costly and questionably constitutional rules, the other shoe is about to drop on the Obama Administration’s legacy of gross executive overreach. I am proud to work with my colleagues in the Western Caucus and other members across the nation to present a united front against the arrogance of top-down mandates burdening each and every district in the United States. Our work is cut out for us, but I am confident that Congress will work swiftly and determinedly with President Trump and his administration to roll back burdensome regulations and red tape inherited from the previous administration,” said Chairman Gosar.

“The BLM's Venting and Flaring Rule is one of the most egregious abuses of power from the Obama administration designed to shut down responsible energy development on our federal lands. When unelected bureaucrats and ideological aims supersede congressional intent and responsible regulation – as was the case with this rule – Congress has an obligation act. This is the first of many steps we will take to cut red tape that is forcing job losses in communities across the country and undercutting our domestic energy resource potential,” said Rep. Bishop.

Rep. McKinley said, “The Office of Surface Mining's Stream Protection Rule implemented by President Obama at the end of his term is an outrageous attack on working families in the coal industry. As Chairman of the Coal Caucus, we’ve made stopping the SPR our number 1 priority because if implemented, it could shut down more coal mines and disrupt the livelihoods of over 80,000 miners and their families. Fortunately, with President Trump, we now have a partner in the White House who understands how irresponsible and harmful these bureaucratic overreaches can be. Let’s get this Congressional Review Act passed as quickly as possible and send it to the President so we can protect our hardworking coal communities from this dangerous rule.”

“State governments not only have the legal authority to regulate oil and gas operations, but they also have the experienced personnel and natural incentive to do so. The state regulators live in the states where the minerals reside. This Fish and Wildlife Service rule is just doubling down on federal mediocrity and will only add to both cost of private property development and enforcement of oil and gas operations,” said Rep. Cramer.

Rep. Pearce said the following in regards to his CRA bill that blocks the BLM's Onshore Order: "This regulation must be repealed to protect the thousands of jobs and federal revenues provided by oil and gas production on federal lands.  The BLM’s attempt to regulate oil and gas production on federal lands shows how over-bearing bureaucracies negatively impact the goal of creating jobs and boosting our economy. With this rule as their hatchet, BLM created costly and unnecessary burdens to the production of oil and gas on federal lands.  BLM claimed they were implementing these changes based on oversight, ensuring royalties were being paid to the U.S. government, when actually this regulation has no measurable benefit for onshore wells.”

“Yet again, we see that the Obama Administration has published another unnecessary midnight regulation on their way out the door,” Rep. Mullin said of his bill. “In this case, the EPA’s RMP Rule trades safety for paperwork as it ignores industry comments and safety experts. By imposing such heavy-handed regulatory burdens on businesses, this rule’s costs far outweigh the benefits for the businesses who are obligated to follow it. Further, in a time when our nation’s security is a top priority, this rule actually compromises our security by allowing anybody to access sensitive information regarding our facilities. That kind of information could be catastrophic for our nation’s security if it lands in the hands of the wrong people.”

“For years, the Obama Administration tried to convince the American people that it supported an “all-of-the-above” energy policy. Yet, at every turn they proposed crippling new rules and regulations that locked away our nation’s vital resources,” remarked Rep. Young of his CRA regarding the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. “This rule represents a giant blow to Alaska’s already sensitive economy, future development in the region and the security of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Not only does this rule lock in the status quo, it eliminates the opportunity to carefully and methodically introduce new technologies. Bottom line, this costly new rule – which could add upwards of $2 billion toward development – is overly prescriptive and makes it nearly impossible for development to move forward in the future”

“While the National Park Service’s ill-conceived oil and gas rule bears serious consequences for western states especially, it also threatens to impact my constituents in middle Tennessee. Under this rule, over 100 wells in our state will now be subject to onerous new federal regulations, despite the fact that these wells are already subject to existing state and federal environmental laws. Instead of adding another new layer of bureaucratic red tape for energy producers to contend with, it’s time Washington learned to trust the judgment and expertise of our states when it comes to energy production within their own borders. I am proud to work with my colleagues in the Congressional Western Caucus to overturn this rule and keep Washington’s hands off our energy supply here at home,” said Congressman Diane Black.
 

Background:

A full list of endorsements for these ten bills can be found HERE.

According to the American Action Forum, the Obama Administration finalized 4,432 regulations, costing a total of $1,000,000,000,000, that resulting in 754,208,800 hours of paperwork compliance, since 2009 – 120,849,512 hours of paperwork coming from regulations finalized in 2016 alone.

With regards to “Midnight Regulations,” those issued between Election Day and Inauguration Day, a potential cost of $6,000,000,000’s worth of regulations was issued by the administration finalizing five rules: the Bureau of Land Management’s Venting and Flaring rule, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard, the Office of Surface Mining’s Stream Protection Rule, the Department of the Interior’s Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Rule and the Bureau of Land Management’s Renewable Development on Federal Lands Rule.

 

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