McConnell to push resolution nixing Obama coal rule

McConnell to push resolution nixing Obama coal rule
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) says he will introduce a resolution in January to undo an Obama administration coal rule released on Monday. 

The Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule is “part of the administration’s plan to demolish these coal communities right now and long after the president has left office,” McConnell said in a Monday statement.

He said he will introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution designed to overturn the rule once the next Congress convenes in January.


“I will continue to do all I can to fight back against the Obama administration’s repeated and gratuitous attacks on our coal miners whose only crime is working hard to maintain a reliable source of energy and provide for their families," McConnell said.

The rule in question looks to prevent stream and waterway contamination from mountaintop removal mining. Interior and the Office of Surface Mining say the measure would protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forest over the next 20 years. 

“The responsible rule released today represents a modern and balanced approach to meeting the nation’s energy needs,” Interior Secretary Sally JewellSarah (Sally) Margaret JewellNational parks pay the price for Trump's Independence Day spectacle Overnight Energy: Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone | UN report offers dire climate warning | Trump expected to lift ethanol restrictions Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone MORE said Monday. 

The mining industry and Republicans have bashed the regulation throughout the eight years it took to write it, warning the measure would hurt jobs in the coal mining sector. 

The rule, they said, is part of what they’ve dubbed Obama’s “war on coal,” or environmental regulations they say hurt the industry. 

But despite that rhetoric, McConnell last month acknowledged a GOP presidential administration might not be able to stop the coal sector’s bleeding, which is caused in large part by energy market forces. 

“We are going to be presenting to the new president a variety of options that could end this assault,” McConnell said after Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE’s victory in the presidential race, the Lexington Herald-Reader reports.

“Whether that immediately brings business back is hard to tell because it’s a private-sector activity.”