Western Caucus Members Help Pass Bill to Nullify Job-Killing Stream Protection Rule

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Washington, DC, February 1, 2017 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) and Caucus Members Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND-At Large) released the following statements after the House successfully passed H.J. Res. 38 by a recorded vote of 228-194, legislation which seeks to block the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule.
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Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) and Caucus Members Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND-At Large) released the following statements after the House successfully passed H.J. Res. 38 by a recorded vote of 228-194, legislation which seeks to block the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule.

“Today’s rejection of the Obama Administration’s Stream Protection Rule, a blatant attack on the coal industry, has been a long time coming. I am heartened to see the beginning of the end for this misguided regulation. Finalized at the very tail end of the Obama Administration, this midnight rule was not only astoundingly duplicative but also sought to further wrestle power away from states,” said Chairman Paul Gosar. “Hard-working Americans who want good-paying careers have missed out on hundreds of thousands of jobs around the country as a result of President Obama’s ideologically driven ‘War on Coal.’ The House’s action blocking this fundamentally-flawed rule gets us one step closer to putting these people back to work.”

Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson said, “I am pleased to see this harmful rule rejected as it had very little to do with actually protecting streams. This rule empowered the federal government at the expense of coal miners and truly limited local oversight. Today’s passage brings real-world thinking back into the regulatory process and eliminates a rule that duplicated many existing laws and provided little, if any, environmental gain.”

“The Obama Administration took nearly an entire term and spent more than $10 million of taxpayer money implementing this rule. The Stream Protection Rule seeks to prevent billions of dollars of coal reserves from ever being developed while yielding no significant environmental benefit,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer. “Today’s action prevents further destruction of jobs and low-cost energy for the American people. I urge the Senate to swiftly pass this bill and send it to President Trump.”
 

Background:

The text of the pre-published Stream Protection rule can be found HERE.

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has a history of producing job crushing regulations based on secret science.

This duplicative new rule conflicts with existing state regulations and will provide no discernable environmental benefit. This new regulation utilizes the fundamentally flawed and unlawful social cost of carbon model. This final rule puts President Obama’s climate change agenda ahead of the needs of the American people. The final Stream Protection rule seeks to implement parts of President Obama’s unlawful mitigation memo issued in November 2015. This new regulation will cause permitting delays for important projects and kill jobs.

Even the Department of Interior admits that this new rule will increase costs for small businesses, estimating their compliance costs will increase by at least $81 million.

A 2012 Economic Impact Study found that the Obama Administration’s announced Stream Protection Rule could potentially sterilize between 30% and 43% of recoverable reserves which will have devastating effects for both surface and underground coal mines. The study also found that the associated decline in annual coal production as a result of the proposed rule could have a direct impact on our economy and employment, potentially killing between 133,441 and 273,227 mining-related jobs, and having an associated economic impact of $18 to $25 billion annually.

Information provided by the National Mining Association (NMA) confirms that approximately 40,000 coal jobs have been lost in America during the Obama Administration. NMA also stated that up to 64 percent of total U.S. coal reserves nationwide could be off limits to mining as a result of this new regulation. Production of U.S. coal has fallen to the lowest levels in the last 30 years. Since 2009 alone, more than 200 different plants have been forced to close their doors.

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