This critical legislation is about more than coal mining jobs – it’s about all the jobs created by affordable and reliable electricity generated from coal. These jobs range from high-tech manufacturing and computing to Main Street hardware and grocery stores that depend upon affordable electricity to keep the power on and the doors open. H.R. 3409 will ensure that electricity remains affordable for businesses and households.
•Title I– The Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), will protect American jobs and support U.S. energy production by prohibiting the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new rules or regulations that will adversely impact mining jobs and our economy.
◦It is a necessary safeguard in response to the effort by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) to conduct a sweeping rewrite of a coal mining regulation (the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule) that will cost an estimated 270,000 mining related jobs and decrease American energy production.
◦This legislation does not affect any existing OSM regulations, but is simply a time-out to allow OSM to ensure any new regulations are consistent with the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA).
•Title II– Referred to as the Energy Tax Prevention Act, it will block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing a “back-door Cap and Trade” system that Congress and the American people have repeatedly rejected.
◦This bipartisan legislation protects jobs and stops EPA's cap-and-tax agenda, which threatens to drive up energy prices, send jobs overseas, and hamstring our economic recovery.
◦The bill will not simply delay EPA’s plans for a national energy tax; it will permanently prevent such a tax from ever being imposed by regulation under the Clean Air Act.
◦The bill does not weaken the Clean Air Act in any way, but merely ensures the law is not misused for a carbon cap-and-tax regulatory regime for which the Act was never designed.
•Title III– The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act requires federal regulators like the EPA to consider the costs and consequences of their regulatory actions before they put more people out of work.
◦This provision provides for an honest accounting of the full cost of EPA’s rules by requiring an interagency committee to analyze the cumulative economic impacts of certain environmental regulations in an effort to better understand how these policies affect American manufacturing, global competitiveness, energy prices, and jobs.
◦The legislation will protect hundreds of thousands of jobs currently at risk from EPA’s new power sector rules, namely the Utility MACT rule and others.
◦EPA has estimated the annual cost of the Utility MACT rule to be almost $10 billion, but EPA has never acknowledged the rule’s total cost, which some estimate as exceeding $100 billion.
•Title IV– The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act vests primary responsibility for managing coal ash with the states to ensure that the byproducts of coal combustion and conversion can continue to be safely managed and recycled for beneficial use in products like drywall and roads and so much more.
◦The legislation, which enjoys bipartisan and bicameral support, provides a practical alternative to EPA’s misguided plan to regulate coal ash under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which is estimated to cost over 300,000 jobs and drive up electricity costs.
•Title V– The bi-partisan Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act protects states from undue interference by EPA that delays permits and depresses job creation.
◦The bipartisan legislation will block EPA’s usurpation of the states’ role under the Clean Water Act in setting water quality standards.
◦This will restore the long-standing balance between federal and state partners in regulating the nation's waters, rein in EPA from unilaterally imposing its one-size-fits-all regulations, and preserve the system of cooperative federalism established under the Clean Water Act in which the primary responsibilities for water pollution control are allocated to the states.
◦This bill also restores certainty to the Clean Water Act section 404 permitting process by limiting EPA’s ability to veto permits it has previously approved, and for which there have been no violations.
•A vote for H.R. 3409 is a vote to sustain and create new American jobs from affordable electricity.