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 Yet much federal policy governing the use of these valuable public assets is based on grossly outdated laws.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 Outdated federal policies for managing and pricing scarce water supplies in the West result in unintended taxpayer costs.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

The President’s FY2017 Budget - TCS Analysis

February 08, 2016

The President’s FY2017 Budget - TCS Analysis Ongoing analysis of President Obama's final budget request for FY 2017 and insight into what it all means for taxpayers.... Read More

Event Summary

TCS Co-hosts Panel on Fair Return for Publicly-Owned Natural Resources

February 08, 2016

TCS Co-hosts Panel on Fair Return for Publicly-Owned Natural Resources TCS and Project on Government Oversight hosted a panel discussion on how the federal government can better manage resources on federal lands.... Read More

Statements

Statement: Proposed Rule for Venting and Flaring

January 22, 2016

Statement: Proposed Rule for Venting and Flaring On Friday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed new rules to limit the amount of gas being vented, flared, and leaked from oil and gas... Read More

Statements

TCS Applauds Federal Coal Program Review

January 20, 2016

TCS Applauds Federal Coal Program Review The ad below ran in the print edition of Politico on Wednesday, January 20th.... Read More

Statements

TCS Statement: Review of Federal Coal Program Is Welcome News

January 15, 2016

TCS Statement: Review of Federal Coal Program Is Welcome News On Friday, the Department of the Interior, the federal agency responsible for managing development of federal lands and waters, announced it... Read More

Our Take

Arch Coal’s Bankruptcy Could Leave Millions in Clean-Up Costs to Taxpayers

January 12, 2016

Arch Coal’s Bankruptcy Could Leave Millions in Clean-Up Costs to Taxpayers Arch Coal's $450 million in self-bonded reclamation costs could fall onto taxpayers' backs now that the company has declared bankruptcy.... 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) is in the process of establishing new standards to limit the... 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

Obama Administration Expands Climate Fight with Proposed Rules for Oil and Gas Drilling

January 27, 2016 | The Washington Post

The Obama administration took a step Friday toward plugging thousands of small methane leaks from oil and gas operations around the country,... Read More

Rep. Lipinski’s Bill to Require Full Payment of Royalties on Methane Gets a Boost

January 27, 2016 | The Chicago Tribune

Congressman Dan Lipinski's (IL-3) bill that would lead to a more efficient use of natural resources, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,... Read More

Trickling Away: Multiple Voices Express Concern over Lost Gas on Federal Lands

January 22, 2016 | The Dickinson Press

An environmental organization, western North Dakota Native Americans and a taxpayer watchdog group are all calling on the U.S. Bureau of Land... Read More

Demanding the Right to a Free Ride

January 21, 2016 | U.S. News & World Report

I've written about the strange tale of Cliven Bundy and his rip off of American taxpayers on these pages before, so over the past few weeks... Read More

Obama Pauses All New Federal Coal Leases; Industry Calls It ‘Political Exercise’

January 21, 2016 | SNL Energy

The Obama administration will put a pause on all new federal coal leases while it reviews its program's methods for reviewing environmental... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

January 29, 2016

Taming the Wild Wild Waste

Last week, while we at TCS were bracing for two feet of snow, the Department of the Interior quietly released a... Read More

Venting and Flaring of Natural Gas on Federal Lands

Burning Money Report

DOI Federal Coal Program

TCS Celebrates 20th Anniversary