On Thursday, President Donald Trump killed a rule, the Stream Protection Rule, designed to protect America's waterways from the excesses of coal mining. In signing the legislation, the president said this action
will eliminate another terrible job-killing rule, saving many thousands of American jobs, especially in the mines.
Of course, "job-killing" has been the adjective most used by our local "newspapers" and our local representative, David McKinley. Here, for example, is McKinley being quoted in the Intelligencer on January 31 of this year:
“This rule implemented by President Obama at the end of his term is an outrageous attack on working families in the coal industry,” McKinley said. “As chairman of the Coal Caucus, we’ve made stopping the (Stream Protection Rule) our No. 1 priority because if implemented, it could shut down more coal mines and disrupt the livelihoods of over 80,000 miners and their families.
80,000? Yes, that's a lot of disruption. But was the stream rule really a job-killer? Not mentioned locally and somewhat ignored nationally was a 27 page study by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service released on January 11, 2017 titled:
The Office of Surface Mining’s Stream Protection Rule: An Overview
The study's conclusions on job loss are significantly less than the number that McKinley and our local "newspapers" like to claim. On page 17 the study draws its employment conclusion:
Overall, the proposed rule was expected to reduce coal-related employment by 260 jobs on average each year due to decreased coal mined, while an additional 250 jobs will be created from increased compliance activity on average each year.
A net loss of ten jobs. And what about health and environmental benefits?
Overall, OSM asserted that changes in mining practices resulting from the Stream Protection Rule will likely reduce adverse impacts on the environment and human health.
Some additional sources if you're interested:
For more on the jobs that would have been created, here's CNBC:
Coal pollution rule killed by the GOP would have created as many jobs as it cost: Report
From Science Magazine:
Demise of stream rule won’t revitalize coal industry
Why Trump's Plan to Bring Back Coal Jobs Makes No Sense
And my favorite of the group -- from the conservative business magazine Forbes:
Hey Anglers, Get Ready To Enjoy Some Toxic Heavy Metals With Your Trout Fishing