The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Tuesday, July 23rd entitled, "War on Jobs: Examining the Operations of the Office of Surface Mining and the Status of the Stream Buffer Zone Rule." The hearing will feature testimony from Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) Director Joseph Pizarchik and focus on the status of the Obama Administration's rewrite of a 2008 coal regulation (Stream Buffer Zone Rule) that could cost thousands of jobs and cause economic harm in 22 states.
"At a time when American families are paying nearly double what they spent a decade ago on energy for their homes, Congress needs to make it easier to produce coal, not harder. Unfortunately, President Obama continues to forge ahead with his war on coal, just last week announcing plans to unilaterally impose new red-tape and regulations on American coal production. Meanwhile, the Administration continues to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on an unnecessary and redundant rulemaking process that will only cause further economic harm and job loss. We expect answers from Director Pizarchik on the status of the Stream Buffer Zone Rule and why the Obama Administration has done everything possible to attack this inexpensive and abundant natural energy resource," said Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05).
"Coal is vital to a true "all-of-the-above' energy policy. Unfortunately, President Obama is standing in the way of coal production in America with onerous red-tape and regulations that are already causing devastating job losses. A White House advisor has admitted that a war on coal is "exactly what's needed," and the Obama Administration appears ready to double down on their efforts. The rewrite of the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone rule is one of the most outrageous examples of President Obama's regulatory war on both coal and American jobs. The Committee's long-running investigation has exposed gross mismanagement of the rulemaking process, potential political interference, and the widespread economic harm this regulation would cause. It's unacceptable that the Administration continues to refuse to comply with document requests and it's well past time for them to be transparent about the status and economic impacts of their proposed coal regulation," said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).
For over two years, the House Natural Resources Committee has conducted an ongoing investigation into the Obama Administration's rewrite of the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule. A Committee report released last year, entitled "President Obama's Covert and Unorthodox Efforts to Impose New Regulation on Coal Mining and Destroy American Jobs," detailed the Administration's rushed and unorthodox rulemaking process; the devastating 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 report concluded that, "The Obama Administration's campaign to impose this rewritten regulation must be halted and an open, transparent rulemaking that fairly accounts for job and economic impacts must be undertaken."