WASHINGTON, D.C.—This week, Congressman Darin LaHood voted to employ the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to erase the Stream Protection Rule, which was pushed through in the final days of the Obama Administration. The Steam Protection Rule is estimated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to restructure and revise the state’s entire coal mining program, costing an estimated $800,000 each year.
“Since day one of the 115th Congress, we have been focused on erasing the especially egregious, last-minute regulations the Obama Administration slipped in during his final days in the White House.,” stated Rep. LaHood. “This week, the House used one of our powerful legislative tools, the CRA, to undo regulations that are duplicative, costly, unnecessary, and just don’t make sense— including the Stream Protection Rule which is particularly egregious and harmful for the State of Illinois. States like ours already successfully regulate 97% of the mines throughout the U.S. This new rule does nothing to protect our streams, but does harm our economy. The rule would impose additional permitting and reporting requirements and restrict various mining activities. Eliminating the Stream Protection Rule would save manufacturers and mining companies, such as Viper Mine & Caterpillar Inc. in my district, from having to cut thousands of jobs or even close. President Trump and House Republicans are focused diminishing the power unelected bureaucrats wield over small businesses and hardworking constituents throughout my district.”
Issued during the final days of the Obama Administration and written without input from cooperating agencies or state and local governments, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Stream Protection Rule is a one size fits all rule that rewrites 400 regulations threatening one-third of the nation’s coal mining workforce. The House used the Congressional Review Act to overturn the rule this week, and will instead focus on strengthening the ability of state regulatory bodies.
The CRA is a Congressional resolution of disapproval that gives Congress the ability to revoke last-minute regulations from the previous Administration under an expedited legislative process. If President Trump signs a Congressional Review Act, it also ensures no substantially similar rule can be issued in the future.