McConnell pushes for action on ‘harmful’ coal-mining rule

McConnell pushes for action on ‘harmful’ coal-mining rule
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project ACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Carville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race MORE (R-Ky.) pledged Monday to undo a coal-mining rule issued in the closing days of the Obama administration. 

McConnell introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution blocking the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule, days before the House is set to vote on a similar measure.

In a floor speech, he urged the House to move quickly on its resolution “so we can pass [it] here in the Senate and provide relief to our coal communities, our national economy, and our constituents.”


Obama officials and environmentalists have hailed the rule — which protects waterways from the impacts of mountaintop removal mining — as good for water quality and public health. But the coal industry has said it would kill mining jobs. 

The rule has been a key target for McConnell and resolution co-sponsor Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names McConnell makes strong call for masks, saying there should be no stigma Ernst sinks vote on Trump EPA nominee MORE (R-W.Va.), whose states’ coal sectors have been hit hard by the commodity’s downturn. 

“It will cause real harm to real people who support real families in real communities,” McConnell said of the rule. “This regulation is an attack on coal families. It jeopardizes jobs and transfers power away from states and local governments.”

The House is set to vote on three CRA resolutions this week undoing energy-sector regulations finalized late in the Obama administration. The resolutions target the Stream Protection Rule, a methane leak regulation, and a directive seeking more financial information from drilling and mining firms. 

President Trump has said he wants to cut regulations on the fossil fuel sector, so he's likely to support the resolutions if they reach his desk.