United States Congressmen for West Virginia joined President Donald Trump on Thursday as he signed a resolution into law that has been described by lawmakers to benefit coal miners of West Virginia.
Representative Evan Jenkins published a press release Thursday describing his attendance of the signing and the purpose of the resolution.
Jenkins’ press release states House Joint Resolution 38 will “block implementation of the Obama stream buffer zone rule, which took effect one day before President Trump’s inauguration.”
“It is estimated that if this new rule was fully implemented, it would kill one-third of all coal jobs nationwide,” said Jenkins’ press release.
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition Vide Director Vivian Stockman commented on what the dissolve of the Stream Protection Rule could mean for West Virginia and its economy.
Stockman said this new law and the politicians’ idea of bringing back coal jobs are highly debatable.
“Any effects won’t be immediately noticed, but of course we’re always concerned when there’s any kind of attack on clean water,” Stockman said of the new law, “because basically that’s an attack on human health.”
According to the official Congress website, this was a largely cosponsored, Republican-led resolution with a total of 71 Republican representatives supporting the legislation.
Among the 71 cosponsors, the Congress website summary of the H.J. Res. 38 shows all three representatives of West Virginia, Rep. Evan Jenkins, Rep. David McKinley and Rep. Alex Mooney, were cosponsors of the bill.
The resolution itself, found on the official Congress website, says the resolution disapproves the Stream Protection Rule that was introduced by the previous administration.
“This is a great day for our coal miners, for our jobs, for our state. @POTUS is keeping his word, and I am proud to stand with our miners,” Jenkins said on his Twitter account.
This statement about Trump comes after his campaign trail and stop in West Virginia, where he made statements about his support for coal miners and putting them back to work.
Mooney and McKinley joined Jenkins at the signing, as did U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced Senate Joint Resolution 10 the same day as H.J. Res. 38, which also would serve to disapprove the stream protection, according to the official Congress website.
Capito and Manchin were among the cosponsors of the resolution, according to the bill.
“President Trump today signaled an end to years of overregulation targeting the coal industry and vital jobs in West Virginia,” Capito said in her press release on the signing.
Stockman said there are many ways people can get involved if they do not agree with the dissolve of the Stream Protection Rule.
Stockman said OVEC will have a meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the OVEC office in West Huntington.
Stockman said the meeting is for members or prospective members and more information can be found on OVEC’s website.
Kylee Hurley can be contacted at [email protected]