Natural ResourcesNatural Resources

Public lands and waters are taxpayer assets that Congress should manage to preserve their value, ensure a fair return from private interests using them for profit, and avoid future taxpayer liabilities. Yet much federal policy governing the use of these valuable public assets is based on grossly outdated laws. ...More

The General Mining Law of 1872 was partly intended to promote settlement of the West, but modern mining companies use it to extract valuable gold and copper from public lands without paying taxpayers a royalty. Taxpayers subsidize construction of forest roads intended primarily for profitable timber companies. Outdated federal policies for managing and pricing scarce water supplies in the West result in unintended taxpayer costs.

Congress and the Administration should establish rents, royalties, and fees for private development of public land so taxpayers receive a fair return.

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All the latest content from TCS in Natural Resources
Our Take

TCS Analysis of President’s FY2015 Budget

March 04, 2014

TCS Analysis of President’s FY2015 Budget TCS staff will be combing through the President's budget over the next several hours and days.... Read More

Press Releases

New report details effective tax rates and various tax breaks used by the Oil & Gas industry

April 10, 2014

Taxpayers for Common Sense's new report, “Understanding Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies,” offers a detailed review of the suite of tax subsidies the oil and gas industry receives. ... Read More

Our Take

Shell Latest to Abandon Oil Shale Prospects, Yet Federal Subsidies for Industry Continue

October 07, 2013

Shell Latest to Abandon Oil Shale Prospects, Yet Federal Subsidies for Industry Continue Royal Dutch Shell recently announced it is abandoning its experimental oil shale project and all three of its 10-year, 160-acre federal... Read More

Our Take

Historically Low Bid Denied by BLM for Powder River Basin Coal Lease

September 19, 2013

Historically Low Bid Denied by BLM for Powder River Basin Coal Lease The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency within the Department of Interior responsible for the federal coal leasing program, has... Read More

Press Releases

Taxpayers for Common Sense Calls for Better Oversight, More Transparency of Coal Program

September 18, 2013

Taxpayers for Common Sense Calls for Better Oversight, More Transparency of Coal Program TCS released a report today calling for better oversight and more transparency within the Bureau of Land Management's federal coal leasing program... Read More

Letters & Testimony

TCS Submits Comments on Draft Solicitation for Advanced Fossil Energy Projects

September 10, 2013

TCS Submits Comments on Draft Solicitation for Advanced Fossil Energy Projects On July 2, the Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office announced a draft loan guarantee solicitation for advanced fossil energy... Read More

More in-depth material from TCS in Natural Resources
Fact Sheets

Political Footprint of the Oil and Gas Industry Lobby

April 10, 2014

Political Footprint of the Oil and Gas Industry Lobby The federal government has been subsidizing the oil and gas industry through the tax code for nearly 100 years, wasting billions of... Read More

Reports & Data

TCS Report: Real Savings, Real Deficit Reduction

December 12, 2013

TCS Report: Real Savings, Real Deficit Reduction Relieving Budget Caps with Common Sense Savings in Fiscal Year 2014... Read More

Policy Briefs

Analysis of Selected Sections of S. 601, Water Resources Development Act of 2013

October 01, 2013

Analysis of Selected Sections of S. 601, Water Resources Development Act of 2013 The Senate's Environment and Public Works committee is taking up a water project bill that could cost taxpayers billions.... Read More

Reports & Data

Federal Coal Leasing: Fair Market Value and a Fair Return for the American Taxpayer

September 18, 2013

Federal Coal Leasing: Fair Market Value and a Fair Return for the American Taxpayer The predominant leasing process currently used by the Bureau of Land Management, the agency within the Department of the Interior that manages the federal coal leasing program, does not obtain fair market value for taxpayers.... Read More

TCS appearances in the media in Natural Resources

Guilt By Association in Louisiana

April 14, 2014 | FactCheck.org

In a classic case of misdirection, the Senate Majority PAC claims the “out-of-state billionaire Koch brothers” are spending millions to... Read More

The Farm Bill

February 20, 2014 | Capital Insider

The newly signed law is supposed to be a reform measure. However, under closer scrutiny, the law doesn't hold up. Ryan Alexander,... Read More

Time Out for Coal

February 18, 2014 | The Hill

The coal beds of the Powder River Basin are shaped like giant bowls. For decades, this section of Wyoming and Montana has yielded a vast... Read More

U.S. Officials Shared Information with Miners in Federal Coal Sales-Probe

February 10, 2014 | Reuters

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. officials wrongly aided coal companies seeking federal land leases and accepted below-value bids in a... Read More

Global Hawk Drone Flies into Budget Battle Between Pentagon, Congress

December 06, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

When the Air Force looked for ways to save money last year to deal with declining budgets, officials decided to halt work on a high-flying,... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

February 14, 2014

Sweetheart Deals

It’s Valentine’s Day, and the thoughts of a young farmer, shipbuilder, rural airport operator, or coal miner... Read More