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Ohio Valley representatives attend Trump signing

Ohio and West Virginia leaders joined President Trump at the White House on Thursday to witness the signing of a Congressional Review Act to stop the US Interior Department's Office of Surface Mining's stream protection rule.

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore Capito from West Virginia, along with Congressman David McKinley and Congressman Bill Johnson from Ohio, attended the signing.

The action is a resolution of disapproval. Congressman Johnson led the Congressional Review Act Resolution 38 to overturn the stream protection rule.

“Today, President Trump signed my job-saving resolution into law, which officially repeals the Interior Department’s onerous Stream Protection Rule, which jeopardized thousands of coal jobs, and placed a majority of America’s coal reserves off limits,” said Congressman Johnson. “The rule, which served as the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s War on Coal, was released by the previous administration as the moving trucks pulled up in December, even after the American people sent a clear message to the Washington Beltway - more regulation from overreaching bureaucracies is not the answer.”

Sen. Capito’s office called the stream protection rule “anti-coal.” Coal industry leaders have called it a threat to their employees.

“President Trump today signaled an end to years of overregulation targeting the coal industry and vital jobs in West Virginia,” said Senator Capito. “This action will help protect the one-third of coal jobs placed at risk by the misguided Stream Protection Rule. It also restores states to their proper role as the regulators of mining activities. I was proud to join President Trump and West Virginia coal miners at the White House for the signing of this important measure, and I will continue working with the president to protect our critical energy economy.”

“I have led the fight against this rule since my first days in the Senate because it simply isn’t commonsense and would kills jobs in our state,” Senator Manchin said. “With the signing of this measure, we officially overturn this harmful regulation and can now focus on helping the many West Virginia families and businesses that are experiencing the negative effects of the war on coal. My concerns were not just with the rule itself, but with the rule-making process that led to it. Not only did the Department of the Interior and OSMRE fail to consult with stakeholders and consider the economic impacts, including the possible elimination of thousands of jobs, but they also refused to acknowledge that the rule conflicted with EPA authority and was duplicative of existing regulations under laws such as the Clean Water Act. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to reverse these harmful Obama-era regulations.”

“Today’s signing is a major victory for West Virginia and coal miners all across the country.” Congressman McKinley said. “I look forward to continuing to work alongside President Trump and Vice President Pence to roll back abusive government regulations and create more opportunities for my fellow West Virginians.”

The stream protection rule is a regulation that was finalized in December to guard waterways from coal mining waste. The resolution to undo it was authorized by the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law seldom used until recently. It allows Congress to end administrative restrictions placed by executive agencies.

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