Daines Introduces Measures to Promote American Energy Innovation

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced two resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).  

In the closing weeks of his term, President Obama announced the Stream Protection Rule and the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, one of which does little to actually protect waterways and instead extends the strong arm of the federal government at the expense of states, coal workers and ultimately ratepayers. The other is duplicative and unnecessary, conflicts with current state laws, such as those put in place in Montana and would discourage state-driven solutions to managing methane emissions. 

“We need to allow American energy innovation to thrive,” Daines stated. “By rolling back the overreach of the Obama administration we can allow American entrepreneurialism and our states to take the lead.”

Methane and Waste Prevention Rule: 

On December 6, 2016, Daines wrote to President Trump urging to him to roll back the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s duplicative rule.

On November 15, 2016, Daines slammed the rule as an assault on energy innovation. 

On April 14, 2016, Daines pressed the Obama administration on burdensome costs to American innovation and that further stifle oil and gas production in Montana while having a miniscule impact on global climate change. 

Stream Protection Rule: 

On December 19, 2016, Daines released a statement upon finalization of the rule that is devastating for hardworking miners in Montana like the Crow tribal members working at the Absaloka Mine. 

On December 6, 2016, Daines wrote to President Trump, urging him to halt finalization of this rule.  

On October 27, 2015, Daines raised concerns about DOI’s proposed Stream Protection Rule and its potential impact on Montana coal mining during a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing. 

The Congressional Review Act empowers Congress to review new federal regulations issued by government agencies. With the passage of a joint resolution and the signature of the president, Congress can overrule a regulation.

Daines’ received support from across the state for his actions: 

Bud Clinch, Executive Director, Montana Coal Council: “The Montana Coal Council, representing Montana’s 1285 coal miners, strongly supports the resolution limiting the enforcement of the so called “stream protection rule”.   Disguised in name as “a stream protection rule” in actuality it is a rewrite of the entire federal coal mining regulations with the goal of making compliance impossible. We applaud the Congress for seeing through the smoke screen of Obama’s ‘War on Coal.’ 

Steve Gross, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 400: “The International Union of Operating Engineers support efforts to reduce the effects of the misguided stream protection rule as it will have an adverse impact on good-paying jobs in Montana coal country.”

Richard Dunbar, President, Montana Association of Oil, Gas, and Coal Counties: “The BLM Methane Emissions rule is an unnecessary regulation that hurts oil and gas activity in Montana that our counties rely on for tax revenue and jobs. We appreciate Senator Daines working to block this harmful rule.” 

John Williams, Mayor, City of Colstrip The “Stream Protection Rule” is a primary example of  “one size fits all” in the previous administration’s “war on Coal”. It serves no other purpose than an attempt to shut down development and increase cost. Coal country appreciates Senator Daines support of the Resolution to shut down this threat against coal. 

Alan Olson, Executive Director, Montana Petroleum Association: “The Montana Petroleum Association commends Senator Steve Daines and Senator John Barrasso on the joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval of the venting and flaring rule.”

Crow Tribal Chairman Not Afraid and Vice-Chairman Goes Ahead: “We are very gratified to hear that the U.S. Senate will be introducing a Resolution under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the OSM Stream Protection Rule that was published late last year, without conducting a meaningful government-to-government consultation with the Crow Tribe as required by law. This action will prevent an immediate adverse impact on Crow coal production, which is already under siege. We sincerely appreciate Senator Daines’ efforts on this important issue.”

Richard Dunbar, President, Montana Association of Oil, Gas, and Coal Counties: “Coal mines in Montana are a critical source of revenue for our counties that funds education and critical infrastructure. Montana is also proud of the world-class reclamation that is already taking place at our coal mines. The stream protection rule is just another example of the Obama Administration’s over-burdensome regulation of our natural resources. Senator Daines has continued to support our high-paying coal jobs, and a return to common sense.” 

Joseph E. Micheletti, Executive Vice President, Westmoreland Coal Company: On behalf of the 500+ Westmoreland Coal Company employees at our Montana coal operations and as a 5th generation Montanan, We strongly encourage and support Senator Daines’ opposition to the Stream Protection Rule. Simply stated, the Stream Protection Rule is misdirected towards shutting down Montana’s and America’s coal industry, not protecting our streams, surface, or ground water. We do not need senseless Washington D.C. regulations to make the right decisions to conserve and protect Montana’s scenic beauty and natural resources.  We dearly love, our thankful for, and stand with you for protecting Montana’s way of life.” 

Lukas Klemke, General Manager – Western Energy Company – Rosebud Mine” “Western Energy Company – Rosebud Mine, employing 381 of Montana’s coal miners, strongly supports the resolution limiting the enforcement of the stream protection rule.  This legislation is overreaching and will ultimately result in the loss of jobs that the coal mining industry currently provides.”

State Senator Eric Moore (R-Miles City): “As a member of the finance committee and as a farmer and rancher, I can testify first hand on how Montana’s natural resource industries have suffered under the crippling regulations from the Obama administration.  The toll on our state revenue has put many critical programs for the most needy among us in jeopardy.  We are all very grateful to Senator Daines for his efforts to put Montanans back to work.”