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 Yet much federal policy governing the use of these valuable public assets is based on grossly outdated laws.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 Outdated federal policies for managing and pricing scarce water supplies in the West result in unintended taxpayer costs.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

TCS Statement on Denver Coal Listening Session

August 18, 2015

TCS Statement on Denver Coal Listening Session Taxpayers for Common Sense Senior Program Director Autumn Hanna spoke today at the fourth in a series of listening sessions being held by the... Read More

Our Take

TCS Calls for Fair Return, More Transparency at Billings Coal Listening Session

August 17, 2015

TCS Calls for Fair Return, More Transparency at Billings Coal Listening Session The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a listening session on federal coal leasing in Billings, Montana on Tuesday... Read More

Event Summary

TCS Tells DOI to Ensure a Fair Return for Federal Coal

August 04, 2015

TCS Tells DOI to Ensure a Fair Return for Federal Coal In downtown Washington, D.C. last week, top Department of Interior (DOI) officials hosted the first of several “listening sessions” on the... Read More

Statements

Statement to BLM on Federal Coal Program

July 29, 2015

Statement to BLM on Federal Coal Program Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander spoke today at the first in a series of listening sessions being held by the Bureau of... Read More

Statements

TCS statement on public listening sessions on Federal Coal Program

July 09, 2015

TCS statement on public listening sessions on Federal Coal Program TCS President Ryan Alexander's statement on the Interior Department's announcement... Read More

Our Take

GAO Report: Inadequate Bonding Requirements for Wind and Solar Projects

July 02, 2015

GAO Report: Inadequate Bonding Requirements for Wind and Solar Projects Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s bonding requirements for... Read More

More in-depth material from TCS in Natural Resources
Reports & Data

Federal Coal Program Resource Page

July 28, 2015

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

Fact Sheets

Political Footprint of the Oil and Gas Industry - June 2015

June 01, 2015

Profits and political spending of the oil and gas industry remained strong in 2014. According to the financial statements of some of the... Read More

Fact Sheets

Reforming the Federal Coal Program: Using Economic Principles to Calculate Royalties

May 08, 2015

Click [HERE] to view this fact sheet in PDF form.   Reforming the Federal Coal Program: Using Economic Principles to Calculate... Read More

Fact Sheets

Money-Losing Timber Sales: Tongass National Forest

March 18, 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (“USFS”) manages 193 million acres of public forests and grasslands collectively known as... Read More

TCS appearances in the media in Natural Resources

Higher Royalty Rates Draw Coal’s Friends And Foes To Denver Hearing

August 20, 2015 | KUNC--Community Radio for Northern Colorado

In recent years the government agency that handles the sale of coal on public lands has come under criticism for how it manages that program.... Read More

Should Feds Hike Fees On Coal Firms? Public Weighs In

August 19, 2015 | Colorado Public Radio

Bureau of Land Management officials got an earful Tuesday in Denver about mining coal on federal lands. That's because officials are trying to... Read More

Coal industry attacks federal royalty plan

August 18, 2015 | The Durango Herald

DENVER – Coal-industry supporters had a large presence Tuesday near Denver, urging federal officials not to change how the government collects... Read More

Both sides blast the feds during packed coal meeting in Billings

August 11, 2015 | Billings Gazette

Witnesses arrived in Billings by the busload Tuesday to sound off on the Department of Interior’s management of coal mined on public... Read More

Federal meeting about coal’s future comes to Billings

August 08, 2015 | Billings Gazette

The national debate about the future of federal coal comes to Billings on Tuesday, and adversaries are sharpening their arguments. Federal... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

August 21, 2015

Arguing for Fair Return on Taxpayer Coal

Taxpayers have been losing big on the sale of coal mined from federal land for decades. But hopefully that’s... Read More

DOI Federal Coal Program

20th Anniversary Celebration