October 29, 2013
Today, Chairman Hastings addressed coal miners from across the country at the “Rally for American Energy Jobs” in Washington D.C. to send a message to the Obama Administration to STOP the war on coal, coal jobs, and reliable and affordable electricity. Since taking office, President Obama has made his contempt for coal clear with a regulatory assault on this abundant natural energy resource that provides over 40 percent of America’s power and supports the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who are already struggling to get by in President Obama’s economy.
The House Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction over coal mining and for over two years has been investigating the Obama Administration’s rewrite of a coal mining regulation (the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule) that would cost thousands of direct coal jobs and decrease American energy production. This 2008 rule had undergone five years of environmental analysis and public review before being thrown out just days after President Obama took office. Since then, the Administration has spent nearly $9 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. The Obama Administration even admitted that this rule would be “atomic” for small businesses. This is why legislation, the Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act, has been introduced to end the Obama Administration’s wasteful, mismanaged rewrite of this coal production regulation. The House passed similar legislation last year.
Coal is an essential part of an all-of-the-above energy plan and necessary to keep energy costs affordable for American families and small businesses. Chairman Hastings and Republican Members of the Committee recognize that, and it’s time for President Obama to do the same.