July 16, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) issued the following statement regarding the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) proposed stream rule.
“It’s outrageous that less than a month after being rebuked by the U.S. Supreme Court for ignoring the costs of its regulations, the administration is doing it again with this job-crushing, anti-coal rule. It’s no secret that this overreaching rule is designed to help put coal country out of business. Less coal production means more Americans will be out of work and families will be forced to pay more just to keep the lights on.
“There is bipartisan opposition to this rule in the Senate. We’ll work to advance legislation that will halt this assault on affordable electricity and coal jobs across the country.”
Senator Barrasso is a co-sponsor of Senator Dan Coats’(R-IN) bipartisan Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act of 2015 (STREAM Act), S. 1458. The bill requires the Secretary of the Interior either to publicly disclose all scientific products and data upon which the Secretary relied to draft the stream rule, or to delay and possibly withdraw the rule. The legislation also prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from issuing a rule or determinations that overlap with current environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act, under the jurisdiction of other agencies.
In January 2014, Senator Barrasso led a bipartisan group of senators in a letter asking the current Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Janice Schneider, to commit to ensuring that the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) does not “rig” job loss estimates associated with OSM’s proposed stream rule.
The letter outlined their concerns following the release of a DOI Inspector General (IG) report on December 20, 2013. The IG report, which was released after Ms. Schneider’s confirmation hearing, detailed how political appointees at OSM ordered career staff and subcontractors to change the method for estimating job losses expected to result from OSM’s proposed stream rule.