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Committee Takes Bipartisan Vote to Save 7,000 Coal Mining Jobs


WASHINGTON, D.C., February 29, 2012 - Today, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 3409, the Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act with a bipartisan vote of 26-18. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06), prevents the Obama Administration’s unnecessary and rushed rewrite of a coal mining regulation that took over five years of environmental analysis and careful scientific consideration to complete. An Associated Press story revealed that according to the Obama Administration’s own estimates, the new regulation could cost up to 7,000 coal mining jobs and have a negative economic impact on 22 states. A more recent study by ENVIRON shows similar or higher job losses as a result of the implementation of this proposed rule.

Specifically, this job-saving plan would prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from approving any new rules or regulations that could adversely impact employment in coal mines, cause a reduction in federal, state or tribal revenue from coal mining, or diminish the ability of the American people to produce coal.

“We are now one step closer to stopping President Obama’s war on the coal industry and the jobs that go with it. There is no question that coal is vital to providing reliable, low cost electricity to America. This important legislation would block President Obama’s proposed rewrite of the Stream Buffer Zone rule that would cost over 100,000 direct and indirect coal jobs and cause energy prices to skyrocket," said Rep. Johnson. “Right now, Americans are experiencing firsthand President Obama’s destructive energy policies that are continuing to make our economy worse. Since the President took office, gas prices at the pump have doubled, unemployment has increased, and Americans are paying, on average, $300 more per year for electricity. Hard-working Americans cannot afford this administration’s failed energy policies anymore.”

BACKGROUND:

  • In September 2011, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia where they heard from a bipartisan coalition of local community members, union members and elected officials who opposed the Obama Administration assault on coal mining jobs through the rewrite of the Stream Buffer Zone Rule.
  • In November 2011, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on H.R. 3409 where they heard valuable testimony about communications between the Obama Administration’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM)and the contractor and subcontractors regarding the economic impact of the Administration’s proposed coal regulations

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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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