After achieving a complete victory on the issue, Attorney General Ken Paxton voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit brought by Texas and 11 other states against the Obama-era Stream Protection Rule. Congress and the Trump administration recently disapproved and repealed the rule. The rule stripped states of their regulatory authority granted by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.


Although the Stream Protection Rule was repealed in February, the multi-state coalition refused to dismiss its lawsuit until the Department of Interior confirmed in writing that every vestige of the rule was formally eliminated. That confirmation was finally provided on April 13.


“Fighting federal overreach and protecting Texas sovereignty is a cornerstone of my office,” Attorney General Paxton said. “We are grateful to solidify yet another victory for Texans. We will continue to fight rules that trample state sovereignty and displace hardworking men and women.”


The repeal of the Stream Protection Rule – which was issued during the final days of the Obama administration – is expected to protect one-third of all coal industry jobs. In addition, the nullification of the rule restores states to their proper role as the regulators of mining activities.


In January, Texas joined Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming in a lawsuit challenging the Stream Protection Rule.