WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul applauded the U.S. Senate for passing legislation to protect Kentucky’s coal industry by overturning regulation aimed at putting them out of business. Earlier this week, Dr. Paul joined fellow Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and 27 of his Senate colleagues in introducing S.J. Res. 10, a resolution of disapproval that would exercise Congress’ power under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the newly implemented Stream Protection Rule. Last night, the U.S. House passed a companion measure, and the full legislation is now headed to the President’s desk.
“This is a huge victory for Kentucky’s hardworking coal miners and their families, and I am excited for the President to sign this important legislation to finally provide relief to our coal industry,” said Dr. Paul. “I promised to always defend Kentucky from the federal government’s War on Coal, and I look forward to continuing that fight as we build on this victory to finally defeat the bureaucratic overreach that has plagued our Commonwealth for far too long.”
On December 19, the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) finalized the Rule, which went into effect on January 19 without the federal government following Congress’ mandates to fully cooperate with the states.
The Stream Protection Rule’s provisions include prohibiting coal mining within 100 feet of streams (with limited exceptions) and shutting down surface mining if an animal species that is merely being proposed for listing as endangered or threatened is present in or near the mine. It also allows federal bureaucrats to preempt and overrule state permitting standards. The National Mining Association estimates that the Rule endangers one third of coal-related jobs and could cost billions in lost federal and state tax revenue.
In addition to cosponsoring S.J. Res. 10, Dr. Paul previously worked to protect coal miners from the Stream Protection Rule through direct intervention with the Department of Interior and OSM, as well as cosponsoring the STREAM Act in the 114th Congress to delay its implementation.