Griffith Statement on Release of Final Stream Protection Rule
Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) unfortunately released the final version of its Stream Protection Rule (SPR). The Department first revealed the proposed rule in July 2015. With today’s release, the rule will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow and would therefore take effect thirty days after publication on January 19th, 2017.
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) said, “I will continue to fight this rule with every tool available, including, but not limited to, filing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution. This rule is so unpopular that there will probably be many in Congress who will wish to lead this CRA resolution and I will either join with other Members to file a resolution or I will file it myself.”
“We must prevent the costly and job-killing Stream Protection Rule from going into effect. I am disappointed that OSM decided to go forward with a regulation they know kills jobs, is unpopular, and will take effect a mere day before the new President is sworn in.”
“And the Democrats have the gall to accuse the incoming Republican majorities and the new President of using the lawful process to undo those Obama Administration regulations that are job-killing, unpopular, unlawful, and/or unconstitutional. They have chosen to take this action knowing that the war on jobs and coal was rejected by the voters in November.”
According to the National Mining Association, as many as 78,000 coal mining jobs will be lost if SPR is implemented, on top of thousands of jobs already lost during the Obama Administration. If jobs in fields related to coal mining are included, up to 281,000 people could be put out of work, with an estimated 190,000 lost jobs in the Appalachian region alone.
The Congressional Review Act is a law that allows Congress to overturn rules issued by federal agencies. Once a rule is finalized, Congress has a limited period of time to pass a joint resolution of disapproval preventing it from taking effect. The CRA was last utilized successfully in 2001, when President George W. Bush signed a joint resolution of disapproval overturning a regulation finalized in the last days of the Clinton Administration.