Monday, December 19, 2016

Obama's Last-Minute Coal Regulation Gets Pushback

Barack Obama fights against coal and Capitol Hill fights back

The Obama administration finalized a long rulemaking process Monday to tighten regulation of coal mining near streams, drawing pushback from Capitol Hill who questioned the move's necessity and had hoped the government would leave the issue alone before the president departs office next month.

The Stream Protection Rule, which officials inside an Interior Department branch dedicated to surface mining spent most of the Obama presidency crafting, sets tougher standards for mining activity excepted inside a 100-foot buffer zone. Previously, regulators argued, there was no specificity as to what constituted material damage to streams inside such areas, akin to posting 'do not speed' signs on highways without listing a speed limit, an Interior official said earlier this year.

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