February 01, 2017
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will consider including votes in our 2017 How They Voted scorecard related to H.J. Res. 38, which would repeal the onerous and unnecessary Obama-era regulation of stream protection.
The Chamber supports the resolution to repeal the Department of Interior’s stream protection rule that was a crucial component of the Obama administration’s war on coal. This rule exceeds the Department’s authority, will cause significant economic harm and job losses, and interferes with longstanding and successful state efforts to protect water quality.
In putting together the regulation, the Department acknowledged the rule would have adverse economic impacts as a result of reduced coal production. Yet, the agency may be underestimating the economic impact because it ignored permitting delays and litigation costs. These adverse impacts would increase production costs of U.S. coal relative to foreign competitors and likely reduce U.S. exports.
Should this rule be repealed, the industry will continue to be bound by previous stream buffer zone regulations, which were created through a lengthy rulemaking process and extensive environmental analysis.
H.J. Res. 38 was approved on Wednesday, and the Chamber urges the Senate to approve this measure and send it to President Trump expeditiously.
Senior Vice President
Congressional and Public Affairs