Congress clears measure scuttling Obama rule protecting streams from coal debris

Published: Feb. 2, 2017 at 3:12 PM EST
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Congress has cleared a measure scuttling former President Obama's rule protecting streams from coal debris. It will now go to President Donald Trump's desk to be signed.

The Interior Department said in announcing the rule in December that it would protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby waters.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a statement on Thursday afternoon praising the passage of the measure to overturn the “stream buffer rule.”

“The Obama Administration’s Stream Buffer rule was an attack against coal miners and their families. In my home state of Kentucky, the Stream Buffer Rule would have caused major damage to communities and threaten coal jobs,” Senator McConnell said. “The legislation we passed today will help stop this disastrous rule and bring relief to coal miners and their families. I am heartened to know so many of my colleagues recognized the problems that face coal country, and I am glad that they joined with me to address them. Now with a friend of coal in the White House, the legislation will soon be signed into law. I am grateful for President Trump’s support and I look forward to working with him in the future to protect coal families and communities.”

Tyler White, President of the Kentucky Coal Association, also released a statement saying in part "This week our country’s leaders took the first step in rolling back unlawful regulation by unaccountable federal bureaucrats."

White also said, The Kentucky Coal Association will continue to advocate for a fair playing field that will allow coal to compete in the free market. The action by the Republican led House of Representatives yesterday and the Senate today is a step in the right direction and shows the people of Kentucky the commitment this new Congress, and administration has for the coal industry."