02:15 - Source: CNN
Issa: Pollution regulation was a dirty trick

Story highlights

Issa was a major critic of Obama

He joined the majority of his colleagues in Congress to overturn one of Obama's final environmental rules

Washington CNN  — 

A staunch critic of former President Barack Obama said Thursday he voted to overturn a rule from the last administration because of the timing when Obama put it in place.

The comments from Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, on CNN’s “The Situation Room” came after both houses of Congress moved to void the Stream Protection Rule.

GOP Congress votes to undo first of many Obama regulations

Obama imposed the rule in December, saying it would prevent coal mine pollution from entering surrounding waterways.

Issa said he believed coal mining needed to be made cleaner, but that he voted Wednesday to overturn the regulation because Obama’s timing was unfair.

“The President (Obama) did this as a midnight rule,” Issa said. “It was a dirty trick at the end of the administration.”

Issa did say the coal mining industry needed to cause less harm to the environment.

“I will continue to support the fact that coal mining has to be safer for the miners and cleaner for the environment,” Issa said.

But Issa said he could not support a rule “deliberately done at the end of the administration.”

Issa also said the effect of the weeks-old rule was “catastrophic” to the coal industry, and said Obama left them a “landmine” the new Congress was clearing.

However, the move from Congress to revoke the rule means the interior department can not pass similar regulation again – regardless of timing.

It would instead take an act of Congress to impose a new coal regulation rule like the Stream Protection Rule. Given the overwhelming Republican opposition to the regulation, such a move is unlikely.

CNN’s Rene Marsh contributed to this report.