House Approves Bill to Ensure Affordable Electricity for American Families and Businesses
Bill Stops Obama Administration’s Job-Destroying Coal Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2014 - Today, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 2824, the Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act, with a bipartisan vote of 229-192. Sponsored by Representative Bill Johnson (OH-06) and Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05), this important legislation would protect American jobs, taxpayer dollars, and affordable energy by preventing the Obama Administration from continuing a wasteful process to develop new job-destroying coal regulations.

Shortly after taking office, the Obama Administration discarded a coal regulation, the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule, that went through five years of extensive public comment and environmental review. Since then the Administration has spent $10 million taxpayer dollars working to rewrite this rule, including hiring new contractors, only to dismiss those same contractors once it was publicly revealed that the Administration’s proposed regulation could cost 7,000 jobs and cause economic harm in 22 states. A report released by our House Natural Resources Committee staff in September of 2012, following years of oversight and investigation, exposed gross mismanagement of the rulemaking process, potential political interference, and widespread economic harm the proposed regulation would cause.

H.R. 2824 will put an end to the years of ongoing waste and dysfunction and put in place a responsible process to ensure there is no rush to recklessly regulate.

“For the past five years the coal industry has been under attack from the Obama Administration, and its effort to impose this new coal regulation is one more example. This costly, grossly mismanaged, and unnecessary rewrite would cause devastating job losses, higher electricity prices, and significant economic harm. H.R. 2824 is important legislation that stops this devastating rewrite and puts a process in place to make sure that it’s done right. It ensures that American families and businesses can continue to benefit from this abundant and reliable energy resource,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).

“H.R. 2824 is a critical piece of legislation designed to save taxpayer dollars and protect American jobs by fighting back against the Obama Administration’s assault on coal – an abundant, reliable, and affordable energy resource. The Obama Administration’s unnecessary rewrite of the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule has been grossly mismanaged, has suffered from potential political interference, and would shut down coal production as we know it. That is simply unacceptable. Passage of this legislation is necessary to stop the Obama administration from continuing with its reckless rulemaking process on a needless regulation that will directly cost thousands of hardworking American jobs and cause significant economic harm,” said Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05).

“I’ve seen first-hand the consequences of President Obama’s attacks on the coal industry have had across Eastern and Southeastern Ohio. In Ohio alone, 41 coal-fired power plants are set to close because of burdensome EPA regulations. In an economy categorized by anemic economic growth and even weaker labor participation rates, asking families to pay more each month for their electricity simply isn’t right. My legislation is straight-forward – it would save American jobs and taxpayer dollars by preventing the unnecessary rewrite of the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule, that would effectively shut down most of America’s underground coal mines. The Obama Administration has spent nearly $10 million conducting its unnecessary rewrite of the rule over the last five years, and has nothing to show for it. I urge Harry Reid to take immediate action and bring the bill to the Senate floor as soon as possible,” said Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-06).

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