CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The U.S. Office of Surface Mining’s proposed Stream Protection Rule is another in a long line of initiatives by the Obama Administration to put the coal industry out of business and, most particularly, the industry in West Virginia and the other Appalachian coal-producing states, representatives of the West Virginia Coal Association announced today.
The U.S. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) is conducting a public hearing this evening (Thursday, Sept. 17) to receive public comment on the proposed Stream Protection Rule. The hearing is being held at the Charleston Civic Center, beginning at 5 p.m.
“This over-reaching rule is a job killer and big government at its worst,” said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “It will wipe out many of the remaining jobs that have survived the past seven years of this Administration’s war on coal. Those policies are devastating from an economic standpoint as they will sterilize valuable coal reserves and shut down operations that our families are depending on to survive.”
Raney said, “In its current form this proposed scheme is completely misdirected from the original intent of the federal surface mining law passed in 1977 and completely re-writes that law without involving Congress or the States! These rules will make it nearly impossible to get a new permit or renew existing permits for underground and surface mining operations throughout the country.”
“What started out six years ago as a rule has swelled to a 2,000+ page diatribe amending 475 existing rules and adding new ones as well,” Raney said.
“We appreciate the steadfast opposition to this rule by our congressional delegation, our governor and the political leadership in this state,” Raney said. “We implore them to keep fighting and to continue their efforts to persuade their counterparts in other states to do the same.” This rule has to be stopped for the sake of our peoples’ jobs, their families, counties and their communities.
For more information contact Bill Raney at (304) 342-4153 or visit the website at www.wvcoal.com.