Governor Matt Mead applauded President Trump’s decision today to sign House Joint Resolution 38, overturning the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement’s (OSMRE) stream protection rule. The rule conflicted with the Surface Mining Coal Reclamation Act, which gives States the power to be the primary regulators of coal mining.
“Wyoming has the experience, the expertise and the programs required to ensure the protection of our natural resources,” said Governor Mead. “The national rule did not recognize the primacy of states and it did not account for the significant differences between coal operations in the mountains of Appalachia and the plains of Wyoming. This rule was ill conceived and unworkable. I applaud Congress and President Trump for taking swift action.”
Wyoming was part of a coalition of states challenging the rule in court. The states argued OSMRE ignored Congress in developing this rule and that the rule would impose heavy burdens on the states and the coal industry. It would significantly impair the development of coal resources. Attorney General Peter Michael had joined other Attorneys General in asking Congress to consider using the Congressional Review Act to overturn the rule.