The House on Wednesday passed two Republican-backed resolutions to repeal Obama-era energy regulations blamed for unnecessarily curtailing coal mining and burdening the oil industry by directing companies to disclose dealings with foreign countries.
The first resolution of disapproval passed along a strict party-line vote, 228-194, repealing the Stream Protection Rule, which the Republican leadership called a rushed regulation that blindsided states with unnecessary and burdensome rules for coal mining.
The House resolution calls for the regulation to be rescinded once a similar resolution is approved in the Senate and signed by President Trump.
“With companion Senate action expected later this week, this resolution hopefully signals the beginning of the end of a regulatory onslaught that has triggered steep job losses in the nation’s mining communities and deprived our country of affordable energy,” said Hal Quinn, the president and CEO of the National Mining Association, representing the coal industry.
The resolutions give Congress the ability to check regulatory overreach, especially those such as the Stream Protection Rule that was enacted in the waning days of the Obama administration. The resolutions of disapproval are sanctioned under the Clinton-era Congressional Review Act.
The second resolution of disapproval would repeal regulations requiring oil producers to report their dealings with foreign governments to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
That resolution, which passed 235-187, would rescind the so-called “foreign-corrupt rule” or its technical name, “Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers.”
The rule was vacated by a federal appeals court in 2013 but was re-proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2016.
The rule is part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act that was passed into law after the 2008 economic crisis. A number of industries have fought many of the reporting requirements under the law.
The American Petroleum Institute, which fought the rule and won in court, said the regulation would cost the industry $96 million to $591 million annually. That breaks down to between $225,000 and $1.4 million annually per company, according to the oil industry group.
The oil group and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed suit against the rule in 2012.
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