|Report on OSM's efforts to Revise Federal Mining Regs|
|Friday - September 28, 2012|
On September 20, 2012 the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources published a report regarding the federal Office of Surface Mining’s (OSM) efforts to revise several federal mining regulations under the banner of a “Stream Protection Rule.” The revisions were undertaken by OSM in 2009 and sought to void a previous rulemaking effort which was completed in 2008 that revised the federal stream buffer zone regulations regarding mining activities in and around streams. The Natural Resources Committee began an oversight investigation of OSM’s actions up to and including the issuance of subpoenas for documents and to compel Congressional testimony from certain OSM officials. (continued)
Included in the conclusions of the report:
“To date, the Committee’s ongoing investigation has exposed gross mismanagement of the rulemaking process, potential political interference, and the widespread economic harm this regulation would cause. The Obama Administration has already spent $7.7 million taxpayer dollars conducting this rewrite and is poised to spend even more if it continues with this mismanaged rulemaking.
The Interior Department refuses to comply with Congressional subpoenas to reveal documents and information that would fully reveal how and why this regulation was being rewritten. These actions of secrecy come despite President Obama’s pledges of unprecedented transparency and openness in government.”
The report is available for download at http://naturalresources.