January 30, 2017
Today, Reps. Bill Johnson (R-OH), Evan Jenkins (R-WV) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced H. J. Res. 38. This is a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act related to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s (OSM) final Stream Protection Rule (SPR). During the rulemaking process, OSM shut out cooperative agencies – the states responsible for enforcing federal mining regulations – and ignored the existing regulatory success as the state and federal level.
If enacted, the resolution would ensure that final SPR has no force or effect, and that OSM cannot issue a rule that is substantially the same without subsequent authorization from Congress.
“This rule is the perfect candidate for congressional repeal. It is an abuse of executive power and the unelected bureaucracy expurgated states from the rule-writing process before jamming it through in the eleventh hour. The sheer economic impact of this rewrite of over 400 regulations is devastating for coal communities and, if allowed to proceed, an utter disaster for existing regulatory processes. We’re not going to let that happen,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.
“Make no mistake about it, this Obama administration rule is an effort to regulate the coal mining industry right out of business – through duplicative and overly burdensome regulations,” Rep. Johnson stated. “It was released during the waning days of the Obama administration, well after hardworking Americans sent a clear message to Washington, D.C. that more regulation is not the answer. H.J. Res. 38 will send a strong message: We will both protect America’s coal jobs by stopping this rule from taking effect, and prevent the issuance of any similar rule in the future.”
“This rule is President Obama’s final chapter in his anti-coal legacy, a legacy that has cost West Virginia thousands of jobs and decimated our state’s economy. We will be taking action this week to stop this job-killing rule and protect tens of thousands of jobs. I am proud to join with my colleagues in the House and the Senate in standing up for American jobs, American energy and the American people,” Rep. Jenkins said.
“This rule implemented by President Obama at the end of his term is an outrageous attack on working families in the coal industry,” Rep. McKinley stated. “As Chairman of the Coal Caucus, we’ve made stopping the SPR our number one 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.”
On Dec. 19, 2016, OSM issued its final Stream Protection Rule.
The Congressional Review Act empowers Congress to review new federal regulations issued by government agencies. With the passage of a joint resolution and the signature of the president, Congress can overrule a regulation.
Click here for additional information on the rule.