Manchin attends signing of his measure to overturn ‘anti-coal’ rule

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U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) attended the signing ceremony of the resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) which Senator Manchin introduced to overturn the “stream protection rule.”

Last year, the Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE) decided to send its final stream protection rule to the White House without fulfilling obligations for state engagement as directed by Congress.

“I have led the fight against this rule since my first days in the Senate because it simply isn’t commonsense and would kills jobs in our state,” Manchin said in a press release. “With the signing of this measure, we officially overturn this harmful regulation and can now focus on helping the many West Virginia families and businesses that are experiencing the negative effects of the war on coal. My concerns were not just with the rule itself, but with the rule-making process that led to it. Not only did the Department of the Interior and OSMRE fail to consult with stakeholders and consider the economic impacts, including the possible elimination of thousands of jobs, but they also refused to acknowledge that the rule conflicted with EPA authority and was duplicative of existing regulations under laws such as the Clean Water Act. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to reverse these harmful Obama-era regulations.”

Earlier this month, Manchin spoke on the Senate Floor urging his colleagues to pass this resolution.

In June, Manchin sent a letter to Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to express his concern about the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s (OSMRE) decision to send its final stream protection rule to the White House without fulfilling obligations for state engagement as directed by Congress.

In 2015, Manchin introduced the bipartisan Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act. The bill would have prevented the “stream protection rule” while adding transparency and stopping federal regulatory overreach related to mining. It would ensure that any rule issued by the Department of the Interior is based on comprehensive, open data and would not unnecessarily increase regulations or eliminate thousands of jobs.