Next week, the House of Representatives will consider the Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012, a package of five bills that will help end the Obama Administration's war on coal that threatens thousands of American jobs and could increase the price of energy on millions of American families and small businesses.
Included in the package is a Natural Resources Committee bill, H.R. 3409, the Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-02). H.R. 3409 will protect American jobs and support U.S. energy production by prohibiting the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new rules or regulations that will adversely impact mining jobs and our economy.
Shortly after taking office, the Obama Administration discarded a coal production regulation, the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule, that underwent five years of environmental review and public comment. The Administration has spent millions of taxpayer dollars working to rewrite this rule including hiring new contractors, only to dismiss those same contractors once it was publically revealed that the Administration's new proposed regulation could cost 7,000 jobs and cause economic harm in 22 states. It's now unclear where the Administration is at in the process of conducting this rewrite and if they are hiding the ball and intentionally concealing the true economic impacts until after the November election.
"For over a year and a half the Natural Resources Committee has conducted an extensive investigation into the Obama Administration's unnecessary rewrite of a coal production regulation that could have devastating job and economic impacts. Despite bold promises of openness and transparency from this Administration, they have gone to astonishing lengths to withhold information from the public and to avoid answering questions. The Interior Department has failed to meet a single deadline for document requests and has ignored two Congressional subpoenas for further information," said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. "The Obama Administration's war on coal knows no bounds. The bill authored by Rep. Bill Johnson is necessary in order to stop the Administration from imposing their job-destroying regulation that they are writing in secret and concealing the true economic impacts."
"President Obama's war on coal is real, and in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio we are witnessing the devastating effects of his policies firsthand," said Rep. Bill Johnson. "Coal mines are closing and miners are finding themselves in the unemployment lines. Additionally, countless indirect coal jobs have been put at risk because of the President's unwavering commitment to stop underground mining. The Coal Act of 2012 puts a stop to President Obama's war on the coal industry and the jobs that go with it. Ending President Obama's assault on coal is an important step to creating much-needed jobs, lowering energy prices, and making America energy independent."
The Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 includes the following bills:
H.R. 3409, the Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act
H.R. 910, Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011
H.R. 2401, Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act of 2011
H.R. 2273, Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
H.R. 2018, Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011