Reducing harmful regulations and bringing back blue-collar jobs were major themes of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Now he is following through on those pledges.
President Trump signed legislation repealing an Interior Department rule finalized in the waning days of the Obama administration that restricted the amount of coal mining debris that may be dumped into nearby streams, and required greater remediation of such areas. The regulation was only finalized in December, though it had been in development for seven years.
The coal industry claimed that the rule was superfluous and would cost thousands of jobs in an industry already decimated by both government regulation and market forces, including the rise of cheap natural gas and declining demand from China. And Trump had previously argued that the stream rule “duplicates existing protections in the Clean Water Act and is unnecessary given the other federal and state regulations already in place.”
“In eliminating this rule, I am continuing to keep my promise to the American people to get rid of wasteful regulations that do nothing — absolutely nothing — but slow down the economy, hamstring companies [and] push jobs to other countries,” Trump said during last Thursday’s White House signing ceremony. Compliance with the rule would have cost the coal industry more than $50 million a year, he added.
Trump’s actions mark a significant departure from the administration of Barack…