GOP leaders on Wednesday called for the Trump administration to abandon its planned withdrawal of federal coal-mining regulations and instead consider “an effective, reasonable and practical solution” to address the crisis.
In an emergency order, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a joint statement in which they called on the administration to take “any and all appropriate steps to address this serious situation.”
“If the Trump Administration does not immediately begin implementing the Clean Power Plan, Congress will act immediately to repeal it,” the pair said.
“The rule will not only harm our economy and our environment, it will put millions of Americans out of work, and it will undermine the ability of the United States to lead the world in combating climate change.”
“The Clean Power Program will hurt America’s economy and cause needless job losses, particularly among coal miners,” Ryan said.
“Instead of continuing to delay this rule, we must pass a clean coal rule that protects American jobs and investments, and ensures that we do not continue to subsidize coal mining and coal production.”
McConnell and Ryan also said the administration should consider taking steps to “recover the cost of this catastrophic rule,” including issuing an emergency financial relief package to the EPA.
“The administration should begin immediately to review the impact of this rule on the economy, the environment and taxpayers,” they wrote.
“It should immediately begin withdrawing the rule and providing emergency financial assistance to the States and communities affected by the rule.”
The Clean Air Act was enacted to curb pollution that harms air quality and public health, and Congress has approved it as a “major environmental accomplishment.”
Trump, a Republican, signed the order, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been leading a task force to analyze the costs and benefits of the regulations.
The EPA announced Wednesday it would not issue a new regulation for two years to allow states to begin implementing new pollution-control measures.
That means the rule’s implementation would be delayed indefinitely, but Trump has vowed to undo the order.