Griffith Applauds House Passage of Resolution Disapproving the OSM Stream Rule
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today voted to disapprove the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM)’s stream rule, referred to as the “Stream Protection Rule (SPR).” The resolution of disapproval, put forward under the terms of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 228 to 194. After the House vote, he issued the following statement:
“When the unnecessary, costly, and job-killing ‘Stream Protection Rule’ was issued in December, I vowed to fight it with every tool available. I am pleased that a majority of my colleagues in the House joined the fight by supporting this resolution of disapproval.”
“When the Senate approves the resolution and the President signs it, the Office of Surface Mining will be unable to put forward this rule or one similar to it in the future. This outcome would put bureaucrats on notice that they cannot impose ineffective, costly, overreaching regulations without engaging at the state and local levels and expect the people’s representatives to go along.”
According to the National Mining Association (NMA), as many as 78,000 coal mining jobs would be lost if SPR is implemented, on top of thousands of jobs already lost during the Obama Administration. Likewise, NMA found that 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. Furthermore, the Department of the Interior has found that virtually all coal mines have no off-site impacts and that current rules have provided for successful land restoration.
According to a Congressional Research Service analysis of the law’s provisions, Congress has sixty legislative days after an agency submits a final rule to overturn it. Both chambers of Congress must pass a joint resolution of disapproval in that period. Unlike most legislation, a CRA resolution cannot be filibustered in the Senate. The resolution then goes to the President’s desk for his signature or veto.