The Obama Administration's rewrite of the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule is the latest example of the Administration's assault on coal production and the millions of American jobs it supports. The Obama Administration discarded a rule that underwent five years of environmental review and public comment, entered into a lawsuit settlement agreement with environmental groups to rewrite the rule in an unachievable time frame, spent millions of taxpayer dollars and hired new contractors to rewrite the rule, fired the contractors when it was publically leaked that their rewritten rule could cost 7,000 jobs, attempted to conceal the true economic impacts, and may now be hiding their final rule from the public until after the Election.
This week, the Natural Resources Committee questioned Director Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Joseph Pizarchik at an oversight hearing on Thursday. The hearing focused on two specific issues: 1) The status of both the Interior Department's rewrite of the Stream Buffer Zone Rule and the lawsuit settlement agreement requiring a final rule to be in place last month; and 2) The failure of the Department to comply with official Congressional subpoenas for documents. "Is the Obama Administration now waiting until after the election, when the President will have more 'flexibility,' to release its job-destroying regulation? What is the Administration planning to impose after November that it doesn't want the American people to know about now? The hearing was part of a more than year-long investigation in the Obama Administration's rewrite of coal regulations that could cost thousands of jobs.