Congress Rolls Back Obama Regulation on Coal Industry
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – On Thursday, President Trump signed into law an important measure to protect Hoosier coal jobs, which was passed out of Congress earlier this month. The resolution, H.J. Res. 38, nullifies a rule submitted by the Department of Interior, known as the Stream Protection Rule.
The resolution is a part of an effort by Congress to exercise its authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to roll back onerous regulations set forth at the end of President Obama’s second term.
In a recent radio interview with WIKY in Evansville, Dr. Bucshon explained, “One of the things we are looking at in Washington…is regulations that were put in in the last number of months of the Obama Administration, including one which is very important to my district called the Stream Buffer Rule, which would have devastated the coal mining industry across, not only our state, but across the country.”
Dr. Bucshon went on to explain the disastrous impact this unnecessary, big-government regulation would have had on the Hoosier coal industry and the families it supports.
“It would have put approximately 65 percent of our coal reserves out of the market, essentially,” said Bucshon. “In addition, the rule wasn’t necessary because there’s already a tremendous amount of protections to protect the landscape and streams across the country. It was an ideological position taken by the administration to further their war on coal.”
The Obama administration developed the Stream Protection Rule through a process that lacked transparently and relevant input from stakeholders, spanned over eight years, and billed taxpayers roughly $10 million. Analysis of the final draft indicated the rule would result in a loss of one-third of the U.S. coal mining workforce and drastically reduce coal production in 22 states. Not to mention, it upended over 400 regulations currently in place.
The rule would be particularly devastating to Indiana’s economy and the families who rely on the coal industry.
According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, “Indiana annually is among the top ten coal producing states in the nation averaging 32,000,000 to 35,000,000 tons each year.” And coal supports eight out of ten Hoosier jobs according to the, Indiana Coal Council.
Furthermore, every coal mine in the state of Indiana is located within the boundaries of the Eighth Congressional District.
Under the Congressional Review Act – a law passed in 1996 that established special congressional procedures for disapproving a broad range of regulatory actions issued by federal agencies – Congress can roll back regulations like the Stream Protection Rule by a simple majority in both chambers of Congress and a signature by the President.
With H.J. Res. 38 signed into law, the Stream Protection Rule cannot take effect or continue in effect. The agency also may not reissue that rule or any substantially similar rule.
Bucshon also noted that Congress will continue to use its authority under the Congressional Review Act to roll back other Obama-administration regulations.
“…there are a number of other regulations that we are looking at that came in at the last minute that we can overturn with the Congressional Review Act with a simple majority vote in the House and Senate and a signature from the White House,” said Bucshon.
Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. is a physician and Republican member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving his third term representing Indiana's 8th Congressional district. The 8th District of Indiana includes all or parts of Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, and Warrick counties.