Congressmen McKinley, Mooney and Jenkins
We the undersigned urge you to take immediate action to overturn the so-called “Stream
Protection Rule” proposed by the United States Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining
Reclamation and Enforcement (“OSM”), 80 Fed. Reg. 44,436 (July 27, 2015).
If finalized, the Stream Protection Rule will devastate our nation’s coal industry. It is estimated
that the rule will result in the loss of between 100,000 – 300,000 mining-related jobs, reduce
our nation’s coal production by 30-65%, leave $14-$29 Billion in coal reserves in the
ground, and cost the state and federal government between $3 and $6 Billion in lost tax
base. While the rule will cause the most harm to constituents like yours in West Virginia, its impact
will also be felt across the country as increased costs of coal production will lead to increased
electricity prices nationwide.
Congress has held multiple hearings on this Rule, and those hearings have established that the
rule is unnecessary, that it was politically motivated to harm the coal industry, that OSM
changed the job loss assumptions to support the rule, and that OSM ignored the input of the
states in the rule-making process.
Despite being well aware of the numerous flaws in the rule, OSM is poised to finalize it by the
end of the year. This means that the time for Congress to act is now. Under the Congressional
Review Act, Congress can pass a resolution disapproving of this unlawful “midnight” rule-
making. Congress can also include language in legislation expressly de-funding OSM to
eliminate its ability to implement this flawed rule.
Please take action now to save hundreds of thousands of coal mining jobs and the local
communities they support by stopping the Stream Protection Rule.
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