House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) today sent a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar expressing disappointment at the Department's lack of transparency and failure to respond to the Committee's legitimate oversight questions surrounding OSM's bizarre decision to rewrite a carefully crafted 2008 coal regulation. The letter reiterates the Committee's constitutional authority to conduct its oversight responsibilities and again renews the request for information sought in a February 22, 2013 letter.
"Due to the limited nature of the requests, and the significant amount of time that has passed since this request was made, it is very disappointing that nothing has been received from the Department on this matter," wrote Chairman Hastings. "The deadline of March 8, 2013 has passed and it is unacceptable that no response has been received, no answers given, and that there continues to be no transparency from the Department on the status of this rulemaking or what resources are currently being spent on the rulemaking and the corresponding litigation."
Last year, the Committee released a report, entitled "President Obama's Covert and Unorthodox Efforts to Impose New Regulation on Coal Mining and Destroy American Jobs," detailing information uncovered in its more than two year ongoing investigation into the Obama Administration's rewrite of the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule. The report details the Administration's rushed and unorthodox rulemaking process; the job and economic impacts of its proposed regulation; its attempts to change the numbers to hide the true economic impacts; and the Administration's continual efforts to obstruct Congressional oversight.
The House of Representatives also passed H.R. 3409, the Stop the War on Coal Act, which would prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new rules or regulations that would adversely impact mining jobs and our economy.
Read full letter in PDF format below: