House accuses Obama of targeting coal

April 6, 2012 at 8:39 AM

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said he wanted information about how the government was reconsidering coal waste regulation.

The committee last year began investigating how Office of Surface Mining regulations meant to replace the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone regulation affected unemployment. The 2008 measure permitted the discharge of coal mine waste into perennial and intermittent streams under certain conditions.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the committee, said he viewed a proposed rewrite of the regulation as an assault on the coal industry.

"The Obama administration's many attacks on coal as a low-cost American energy source are very clear but they've refused to disclose information detailing their decisions and actions to rewrite this rule governing coal production," he said in a statement.

Hastings said he wants transcripts and recordings of meetings between officials at the Interior Department and contractors involved in the proposed rule-making.

A spokesman for the Interior Department told the Platts service it was premature to issue a subpoena as the new rule hasn't been proposed yet.

The subpoena deadline is noon Thursday.

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