Congress is already attacking protections for clean water.
Late last year, the Department of Interior finalised the Stream Protection Rule which provides communities with basic information they desperately need about toxic water pollution caused by nearby coal mining operations and includes several important protections for clean water and the health of communities impacted by coal mining.
In Appalachia, mountaintop removal mining has been responsible for the destruction of 2,000 miles of streams and 2.5 million acres of Appalachia’s ancient forests.
The rule was enacted due to the devastating impacts of mountaintop removal mining, one of the most destructive forms of coal mining, which threatens community drinking water supplies across the country. Dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies have linked mountaintop removal mining to health impacts such as elevated rates of birth defects and deaths from cancer.
This highly anticipated rule is the first major update to surface mining regulations in 30 years. It provides much needed safeguards to ensure that corporate coal does not profit by polluting local drinking water with toxics.
Coal companies don’t like it. So neither do their friends in Congress
The Stream Protection Rule is a modest, commonsense rule that primarily protects water for communities living near coal mining operations. However, the coal industry has politicized this rule to be about killing jobs. The coal industry — and the members of Congress they have in their back pocket — argues that this rule would cost 78,000 mining jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 83,000 coal mining jobs in the country. If anything, coal pollution threatens jobs.
The Stream Protection Rule would actually increase jobs. The Department of the Interior assessment concluded that the rule will result in the creation of an annual average of 156 new full time jobs between 2020 and 2040.
Instead of leaving these commonsense protections in place, Congress is attempting to gut the rules with almost no debate. We have to stop this right now.
Call your members of Congress and tell them to vote NO on a Resolution of Disapproval for the Stream Protection Rule.
- Sen. Mitch McConell: (202) 224-2541
- Sen. Rand Paul: (202) 224-4343
- Rep. James Comer (1st District): (202) 225-3115
- Rep. Brett Guthrie (2nd District): (202) 225-3501
- Rep. John Yarmuth (3rd District): (202) 225-5401
- Rep. Thomas Massie (4th District): (202) 225-3465
- Rep. Hal Rogers (5th District): (202) 225-4601
- Rep. Andy Barr (6th District): (202) 225-4706
Message to Elected Officials:
Dear Representative [or Senator],
The Stream Protection Rule protects the drinking water and public health of communities impacted by mountaintop removal coal mining. It gives these communities information they desperately need about how their water may be impacted by nearby activities and provides a few basic protections for public health. It is a vital safeguard for communities, many of which have already been devastated by pollution from coal mining.
Please reject any attempt to repeal this commonsense protection through the Congressional Review Act. I am counting on you to vote NO on a Resolution of Disapproval on the Stream Protection Rule.
Mountaintop removal coal mining is one of the most devastating forms of coal mining. It has been responsible for destroying an estimated 2,000 miles of streams in Appalachia. The Stream Protection Rule offers protection for communities throughout coal country. It will help limit the health and environmental damage caused in these communities by coal companies.
I urge you to vote NO on a Resolution of Disapproval for the Stream Protection Rule.