TCS Statement: Review of Federal Coal Program Is Welcome News

TCS Statement: Review of Federal Coal Program Is Welcome News

Energy & Natural Resources
Jan 15, 2016  | 2 min read

On Friday, the Department of the Interior, the federal agency responsible for managing development of federal lands and waters, announced it would launch a “comprehensive review” of the federal coal program to ensure the government is getting a fair return on public coal resources. Taxpayers for Common Sense has been sounding the alarm about the  faulty federal coal program for years, calling for better transparency, fair market value, and increased royalties. In our 2013 report, “Federal Coal Leasing: Fair Market Value and a Fair Return for the American Taxpayer,” we recommended that the Bureau of Land Management, which manages resource extraction on federal lands, halt federal lease sales until a review of the program's ability to obtain fair market value for federal coal was undertaken. In response to the Administration's announcement, TCS President Ryan Alexander made the following statement:

“From the designation of lease tracts to the reclamation of abandoned mines, the federal coal program has been the source of controversy many times in the past for failing to ensure a fair return to taxpayers. It is appropriate for the Interior Department to step back and reevaluate the different steps of the process and to update policies that have not kept pace with today's energy markets. The goal of this review should be to create a program that strives for transparency and fulfills the fiduciary responsibility of the department to manage these public resources on behalf of taxpayers.”