Following an extraordinary press conference, President Donald Trump signed legislation on Thursday to halt a regulation blocking coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams, according to a statement issued by the White House’s Office of the Press Secretary.
House Joint Resolution 38 blocks an overly burdensome stream protection rule from further harming the coal industry, its workers and the communities that depend on them. The resolution is intended to help protect coal miners from further legislation that blocks American companies from mining new reserves.
Trump called the current regulation a “job-killing rule” before he signed the measure to overturn it. Trump was surrounded by several coal miners, industry executives and lawmakers from coal-mining states during the White House signing ceremony.
In December, the Interior Department announced that the stream protection rule was expected to reduce coal production by protecting 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests from development.
Opponents of the rule feared a significant financial burden on small mines and the elimination of thousands of coal-related jobs caused by duplicative regulations and bureaucratic red tape.
Prior to his inauguration, President Trump promised he would support the coal industry by easing government restrictions while putting coal miners back to work.