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 Yet much federal policy governing the use of these valuable public assets is based on grossly outdated laws.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 Outdated federal policies for managing and pricing scarce water supplies in the West result in unintended taxpayer costs.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.

Explore the Natural Resources Program Explore Natural Resources Close
All the latest content from TCS in Natural Resources
Our Take

New GAO Report on Tongass Timber Management

April 28, 2016

New GAO Report on Tongass Timber Management The USFS reports that its Tongass timber program cost taxpayers $11.4 million/year from 2005 and 2014 – a total of $114 million.... Read More

Letters & Testimony

TCS Comments on Lost Gas Rule

April 22, 2016

TCS Comments on Lost Gas Rule Comments to the Bureau of Land Management on Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation, Proposed Rule; 81... Read More

Our Take

Peabody Declares Bankruptcy, Could Leave Clean-Up Costs to Taxpayers

April 14, 2016

Peabody Declares Bankruptcy, Could Leave Clean-Up Costs to Taxpayers The largest U.S. coal company declared bankruptcy Wednesday, potentially leaving $1.4 billion in clean-up costs to taxpayers.... Read More

Statements

TCS Statement: Peabody Declares Bankruptcy, Taxpayers On The Hook

April 13, 2016

TCS Statement: Peabody Declares Bankruptcy, Taxpayers On The Hook Today, the largest U.S. coal producer, Peabody Energy, which currently holds $1.4 billion in self-bonded clean-up or reclamation... Read More

Our Take

BLM Begins Review of Federal Coal Leasing Program

April 05, 2016

BLM Begins Review of Federal Coal Leasing Program Last week the Department of Interior (DOI) released a Notice of Intent to conduct a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) of the... Read More

Our Take

Forest Service Budget Proposal Under Fire from Lawmakers

March 24, 2016

Forest Service Budget Proposal Under Fire from Lawmakers Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell discussed the FS budget proposal and how it could affect taxpayers with lawmakers at hearings over the last few weeks.... Read More

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

Royalty Rate Reductions on Federal Coal Leases: 1990-2013

November 18, 2015

BLM has reduced the royalty rates on federal coal leases frequently during the last 25 years.... Read More

Fact Sheets

Coal Bonding: Time to Revisit Self-Bonding Requirements

November 09, 2015

For centuries, coal producers in the U.S. regularly abandoned their mines when on-site operations ended, leaving tens of thousands of... Read More

101

Venting and Flaring of Natural Gas on Federal Lands

October 13, 2015

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the Department of the Interior (DOI) manages about 245 million acres of public lands, located... Read More

Reports & Data

Federal Coal Program Resource Page

July 28, 2015

The resource page for TCS analysis on the federal coal program.... Read More

TCS appearances in the media in Natural Resources

Clean Coal’s Big Cost

April 22, 2016 | U.S. News & World Report

Despite the general paralysis in Congress this exceptionally polarized election year, lawmakers have been making efforts to provide more... Read More

Coal Slump Sends Mining Giant Peabody Energy into Bankruptcy

April 14, 2016 | Bloomberg News

Peabody Energy Corp. filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, the most powerful convulsion yet in an industry that’s still waiting for the coal... Read More

My Turn: The Economic Reality of Alaska’s Timber Industry

April 06, 2016 | Juneau Empire

As an eco-tour business, The Boat Company is troubled by an column written by Southeast Conference that appeared March 30, 2016, in SitNews.... Read More

The Department of the Interior’s Budget Request

March 31, 2016 | Capital Insider

This month, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell attended a series of Congressional hearings and answered questions about her budget request for... Read More

Cleaning Out Taxpayers

March 23, 2016 | U.S. News & World Reports

A few months ago, I wrote in this space about the likely bankruptcy of one of the largest coal producers in the country, Arch Coal, and what... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

April 29, 2016

Cutting Ties with Clean Coal

Lawmakers are trying to resuscitate the failed idea of “clean coal” with more subsidies for “carbon capture... Read More

Venting and Flaring of Natural Gas on Federal Lands

Burning Money Report

DOI Federal Coal Program

TCS Celebrates 20th Anniversary