Chairman David Porter Directs RRC to Oppose New Federal Mining Rule

Asserts proposed rule will hurt Texas economy and threaten state primacy

October 20, 2015

AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today at the Commission’s open meeting directed agency staff to sign a letter supporting the Interstate Mining Compact Commission’s comments on the Stream Protection Rule proposed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). Porter emphasized that the 1200 page OSMRE rule threatens the Texas economy and compromises state primacy of surface mining regulation.

“This rule will be very costly to the national and Texas economies, and in addition, it takes away our flexibility to determine the types of bonding we choose to use when permitting mines. I’m worried anytime I see the federal government taking away flexibility on important regulatory tools from the states,” Porter said. “Texas is the sixth largest coal producer in the U.S., and the Railroad Commission has safely regulated state surface mining since 1981. This is just one more example of the federal government overregulating and hurting our economy.”

Citing a study conducted by the National Mining Association, Porter explained that the proposed rule requires a rewrite of approximately 475 different coal mining regulations and puts almost 71 percent of all current mining and mining-related employment at risk.

 Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit