Last week, the U.S. House passed H.R. 1644: the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act (“STREAM Act”). This legislation requires transparency in the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations on “stream buffer zones” between coal mines and streams.
H.R. 1644 also requires a third party study to evaluate the strength of stream buffer zone rules already in place, and limits the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) from exceeding its regulatory authority.
Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis issued a statement in response to the bill’s passage. ““Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake if President Obama’s stream rule is allowed as the new standard,” said Chairman Lummis. “This anti-fossil fuel Administration has taken every opportunity to manufacture regulations that bury job creators under red tape. In this case, the Administration chose to forsake transparency and let special interest groups drive the regulation through litigation using closed door sue-and-settle tactics. I am proud to support this bill and thank Mr. Mooney for his efforts to protect the livelihoods of hardworking American families in coal country by forcing these regulations to be based on transparent science instead of on anti-coal ideologies.”
“The Administration rammed through an overreaching stream buffer rule, cloaked in secrecy and without presenting transparent scientific backing for it. This devastating rule would cause the loss of thousands of jobs and ravage the economies of working class towns that produce the nation’s affordable energy,” said Vice Chairman Tipton. “This important legislation prevents this onerous rule from moving forward and restores transparency to the regulatory process at OSM,” stated Vice Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03).
“I am proud that my bill, the STREAM Act, passed the House today with bi-partisan support. The STREAM Act is critical to the mining industry and our economy. This bill will block an Obama Administration anti-coal regulation, saving an estimated 77,000 jobs in West Virginia and across America. President Obama needs to wake up and realize that his radical environmental agenda has a real impact on hardworking families,” said bill sponsor and caucus member Rep. Alex X. Mooney (WV-02). “The passage of the STREAM Act is crucial for preserving our economic health and way of life in West Virginia.”