Senate Western Caucus Applauds EPA Action to Support States’ Rights and Protect Good-Paying Jobs


U.S. SENATE —Today, Senate Western Caucus led by Chairman Steve Daines (R-MT) applauded the announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reversing the Obama-Era financial assurance rule, which was duplicative of states’ efforts and only costed jobs.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT): “I urged then President-elect Trump to stop the EPA’s overreach into state regulation harming Montana businesses. Instead of threatening the very industries that are a backbone of our Western economies, we need to support American families and American businesses to secure our mineral and energy independence. I am pleased the EPA has taken action." 

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV): “The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision today is a win for the mining industry across the west, where mining employs nearly 25,000 workers in Nevada alone. The CERCLA rule would have discouraged investment, development, and job creation in the very communities that rely on this industry. I was proud to have led the congressional effort against this anti-mining, government-overreach rule and I’m thankful Administrator Scott Pruitt recognized its harmful economic impact.”

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY): “The EPA has made the right decision to scrap another punishing midnight regulation proposed by the Obama administration. This mining rule would have cost jobs and hurt Wyoming’s economy. It was duplicative and unnecessary. States and the federal government already impose similar requirements on America’s hardrock mineral producers. I am pleased that the Trump administration decided this rule was not needed.”

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “I am happy to hear that the EPA has decided to roll back the politically-motivated, duplicative, and costly CERCLA 108(b) rule. If implemented as initially proposed, this rule would have imposed heavy costs on the mining industry with no measureable environmental benefits beyond the regulatory status quo, which has proven effective for decades. I applaud today’s announcement and the Trump administration’s continued commitment to providing our nation’s backbone industries with much-needed regulatory relief.”

U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID): “I applaud today’s decision to eliminate unnecessary red tape on Idaho’s hardrock mining industry. The previous Administration sought to burden this industry with duplicative compliance costs, and I thank the EPA for rolling back this burden.”

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID): “Today’s announcement by the EPA to reverse this misguided proposal requiring excessive financial assurance obligations on our nation’s natural resource industries is overdue. Such requirements would have burdened Idaho’s hard rock miners and processors with crippling compliance cost, without providing any discernable benefit to the environment.  Doing so would have greatly increased the costs associated with domestic mineral production, grown our reliance on foreign sources, and threatened our national energy security.”

U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK): “The Obama EPA was a rogue regulatory body—passing burdensome, duplicative and unlawful rules in their war on fossil fuels. I applaud Administrator Pruitt for his continued commitment to restoring the EPA to operating within its legal authority by recognizing the clear language of the CERCLA and overturning the Obama-era rule that unfairly targeted the mining industry.”

The EPA’s rulemaking was made under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and would have expanded EPA’s authority under the law to burden the mining industry with unnecessary regulations to discourage domestic mineral production. After years of pressure from Members of Congress, Governors and the public, EPA has chosen not to issue its final rule.

Senate Western Caucus Membership

Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Chairman

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Founder & Chairman Emeritus

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Senator John Boozman (R-AR)

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY)

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE)

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Senator Dean Heller (R-NV)

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)

Senator James Lankford (R-OK)

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Senator Jim Risch (R-ID)

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD)

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE)

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)

Senator John Thune (R-SD)