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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Coal Forum is urging Congress to make the REINS Act one of the first bill to land on the next President’s desk for approval.

The REINS Act, or Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, would prevent major new rules – those with an economic impact of $100 million or more -- from taking effect until they are approved by Congress.

“We at the Coal Forum have seen how dramatically agency rules can affect a state like West Virginia when those rules are crafted without serious attention paid to their economic impact,” said Coal Forum Co-Chairman Chris Hamilton. “The REINS Act will give Congress the opportunity to review major agency rules before they go into effect.”

The Coal Forum is an organization representing business and labor in West Virginia’s coal industry.

Hamilton said a variety of environmental regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the last several years have had serious negative economic impacts and contributed to the coal industry’s decline in West Virginia. Those regulations were proposed in spite of warnings from the coal industry about the dire economic consequences they would bring.

“Major regulations absolutely should have input from two branches of government instead of agencies being able to impose dramatic economic costs on taxpayers,” said Fred Tucker, Coal Forum co-chairman.

“The coal industry is encouraged to see federal lawmakers moving quickly to pass legislation that will protect taxpayers from overly expensive government regulations.”

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up the REINS Act this week.

For additional information, contact the West Virginia Coal Forum at (304) 957-2306.