Republican lawmakers are expected to meet Monday with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz as part and final phase of a broad effort to resuscitate President Donald Trump’s ban on coal mining in the United States.
Moniz will join several lawmakers from the House and Senate, including Sens.
Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Lisa Murkowski (R -Alaska), to discuss the issue, according to two Republican aides familiar with the meeting.
They said it was expected to be a short discussion, with the lawmakers discussing the mining ban and its aftermath.
While the move to lift the ban was widely expected by coal industry officials, many have voiced concerns about the Trump administration’s use of the Antiquities Act to reverse decades of regulations.
That law gives presidents the power to make key environmental decisions, and its renewal could pave the way for the lifting of environmental regulations, which have been in place for decades.
Trump in January ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all of the existing federal regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act, and to consider whether to allow mining in public lands, a move that was seen as an attempt to undo regulations put in place by President Barack Obama.
The move has been a flashpoint for lawmakers, who have said it could jeopardize future projects that would rely on federal resources, particularly the coal industry.