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 Yet much federal policy governing the use of these valuable public assets is based on grossly outdated laws.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 Outdated federal policies for managing and pricing scarce water supplies in the West result in unintended taxpayer costs.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

Gone with the Wind: How Taxpayers are Losing Millions in Revenue from Wasted Gas

August 11, 2016

Gone with the Wind: How Taxpayers are Losing Millions in Revenue from Wasted Gas WASHINGTON, DC —Federal taxpayers lost nearly $600 million in royalty revenues during a 10-year period ending in 2015 because of royalty... Read More

Our Take

Covering Costs of Cleaning Up Coal Mines

August 09, 2016

Covering Costs of Cleaning Up Coal Mines The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), in a new policy advisory to states on surface coal mining, says that coal... Read More

Coming Up

Make Your Voice Heard on Federal Coal Reform, Email BLM!

July 05, 2016

Make Your Voice Heard on Federal Coal Reform, Email BLM! Make your voice heard on federal coal reform!   Coal mined on federal land belongs to all U.S. taxpayers and getting a fair return for its... Read More

Letters & Testimony

TCS at Pittsburgh Public Hearing: Time to Fix Federal Coal, Get Fair Return

June 28, 2016

TCS at Pittsburgh Public Hearing: Time to Fix Federal Coal, Get Fair Return TCS Senior Program Director Autumn Hanna spoke today at a Dept. of Interior listening session on reforming federal coal.... Read More

Letters & Testimony

TCS Calls for Federal Coal Reform at BLM Hearing in Colorado

June 23, 2016

TCS Calls for Federal Coal Reform at BLM Hearing in Colorado Below are TCS Co-Founder Jill Lancelot's official remarks today at BLM's listening session in Grand Junction, Colorado on reforming federal coal.... Read More

Letters & Testimony

TCS VP Testifies at House Hearing on Water Settlements

May 24, 2016

TCS VP Testifies at House Hearing on Water Settlements Today, Vice President of Taxpayers for Common Sense, Steve Ellis, is at the House Committee on Natural Resources testifying on a deal... Read More

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

Correcting the Record: Federal Efforts to Curb Natural Gas Waste

July 15, 2016

The Bureau of Land Management recently proposed new rules to limit the practice of venting and flaring natural gas from oil and gas wells on... Read More

Fact Sheets

Reforming the Federal Coal Program: Time for a Fair Return for Taxpayers

May 13, 2016

In January, the Secretary of the Interior directed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to conduct a broad, programmatic review of the... Read More

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

TCS appearances in the media in Natural Resources

For the Obama Administration, the Clean Coal Dream Lives On

August 17, 2016 | Undark Magazine

The Obama administration continues to invest billions to find ways to capture carbon dioxide from power plants before it can become a greenhouse gas.... Read More

Update of Federal Coal Program Long Overdue

July 29, 2016 | Morning Consult

Over the past several weeks, the Department of the Interior held public hearings across the country to receive comments from the public about... Read More

Guest Opinion: Update of Coal Program Long Overdue

July 29, 2016 | Post Independent (Glenwood Springs, CO)

On June 23, the Department of the Interior held a hearing in Grand Junction to receive comments from the public about its recently announced... Read More

BLM Proposed Royalty Rule on Wasted Natural Gas Would Benefit Taxpayers

July 19, 2016 | The Hill

If the heat escapes from your home, you still pay the power company for it. Oil and gas companies often lose a precious resource—natural... Read More

Big Coal Just Saw One Of Its Favorite Loopholes Closed

July 06, 2016 | Think Progress

The Obama Administration last week took a closely-watched first step in its effort to reform the federal coal program by issuing a rule that... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

August 12, 2016

Fueling Corporate Welfare

  Congress is out for the summer, but government agencies are still at work. The Department of the Interior is... Read More

Venting and Flaring of Natural Gas on Federal Lands

Burning Money Report

DOI Federal Coal Program

TCS Rated 4-Star Charity!