Congress backs repeal of Obama coal mining rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has given final legislative approval to a measure that scuttles a new regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams.

The Senate’s 54-45 vote sends the measure to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

Republicans and some Democrats say the rule could eliminate thousands of coal-related jobs and ignores dozens of federal, state and local regulations already in place.

The Interior Department said in announcing the rule in December that it would protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby waters.

The vote was the first in a series of actions Republicans are taking in coming weeks to reverse years of what they call excessive regulation during Obama’s presidency.