Jan 12 2016
U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act, H.R. 1644. The bill would block implementation of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's (OSMRE) new revised, job-killing Stream Buffer Zone Rule. It would also foster an open and transparent rule-making process by requiring OSMRE to publicly release all scientific data used in the drafting of any new rule.
The STREAM Act comes on the heels of a new report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealing coal production in the United States has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years.
"The Obama Administration continues to regulate the coal industry out of business with record job losses and lost coal production. This revision of the Stream Buffer Zone Rule threatens as many as 270,000 more coal-related jobs across the country, with the majority of the impact hitting our distressed Appalachian region once again," said Rogers. "In an effort to save jobs and block the disastrous new rule, the STREAM Act will rein in the OSMRE and calculate the impact of its actions on the coal industry."
The STREAM Act now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
In addition to supporting this legislation, Congressman Rogers also worked to include language in the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill to fight back against this anti-coal rule. As a result of the OSMRE's failed attempt to work with state partners last year, more than half of the states who agreed to work as participating agencies have withdrawn from the rule-making process. Therefore, the Omnibus directs OSMRE to meet with each state upon request, and produce all technical reports, data, analyses, comments received, and drafts related to the environmental reviews, draft and final environmental impact statements. The FY16 Omnibus Appropriations bill was signed into law on December 18, 2015.
Last year, Congressman Rogers also submitted a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell expressing concerns about OSMRE's mismanagement within the agency and a lack of transparency with coal producing states during the stream buffer zone rule-making process.
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook.