WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rand 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. The Senate will consider the legislation after the House votes on a companion measure, which is expected soon.
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.
“It seems the Obama administration couldn’t resist firing one last shot in its War on Coal before leaving town,” said Dr. Paul. “I’m excited about our chance to repeal regulations that deny Kentucky’s hardworking men and women their chance to fully flourish in their professions. Getting rid of this overzealous attempt to destroy Kentucky’s coal industry will send a message that ‘business as usual’ will no longer be tolerated from federal regulatory agencies.”
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.