Key Vote Letter supporting a package of bills entitled H.R. 3409, the “Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act”
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly urges you to support a package of bills entitled H.R. 3409, the “Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act,” which would take important steps to promote a sound energy policy and recognize the importance of coal in our nation’s energy mix.
H.R. 3409 would block harmful job-cutting regulations, protect consumers from higher electricity prices, and promote sound government practices of transparency and a respect for state involvement in environmental protection. In addition to stopping the current war on coal, this bill would make changes benefitting all Americans through policies that encourage economic growth and protect low-cost and reliable electricity necessary for job creation. To achieve these objectives, the Chamber strongly supports the provisions embodied in H.R. 3409 which would:
- Prevent the implementation of the “Stream Protection Rule,” a controversial regulation under development by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) that would drastically reduce domestic coal production and put thousands of miners out of work.
- Prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using the Clean Air Act to impose a cap and trade program for greenhouse gases, and would repeal numerous existing greenhouse gas regulations. If a cap and trade program were to be imposed, Congress should make this sensitive policy decision.
- Create an independent committee to analyze the cumulative impact of certain regulations on energy and manufacturing.
- Put the brakes on the Utility MACT rule. EPA, itself, estimates that the Utility MACT rule would cost $10.9 billion annually.
- Build on state programs to regulate coal ash instead of EPA designating coal ash as a hazardous waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. If the Subtitle C approach were adopted, as many as 316,000 jobs could be lost according to a Veritas Economic Consulting Study.
- Respect the state role in establishing water quality standards under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and promote regulatory certainty for CWA Section 404 permit holders by easing fears that EPA would revoke permits even absent any violations.
The Chamber strongly supports H.R. 3409 and urges you to vote in favor of this legislation. The Chamber may consider including votes on, or in relation to, H.R. 3409 in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten