House approves GOP plan to block coal rule in swipe at Obama administration

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WASHINGTON – The House has approved a bill to prevent the Obama administration from imposing a stream-protection rule for coal mining that government experts say would eliminate thousands of jobs. The rule is intended to replace Bush-era regulations that set up buffer zones around waterways and were aimed chiefly at mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. The House bill would reinstate the 2008 rule. The measure was approved Tuesday.

Republicans say the new rule is part of what they call President Barack Obama’s “war on coal” and would cost more than 7,000 jobs while slashing production.

The White House has threatened to veto the bill, saying it limits states’ ability to tailor safeguards to their own needs and wastes millions of dollars adopting a rule that has been vacated by a federal court.

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