National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn recently encouraged the U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday to keep coal lease sales on federal land unchanged because the price is fair to taxpayers.
“There is no compelling need for a moratorium to ‘fix’ a program that isn’t broken,” Quinn said. “The current program is more than fair to taxpayers. In fact, the 12.5 percent royalty paid on coal leased from federal land is approximately 40 percent higher than royalty rates paid by coal mined on private land in coal states. On top of the royalties they pay to mine federal coal, companies also pay bonus bids and additional fees that together provide taxpayers 39 cents of every dollar of coal sales.”
Quinn’s statement came in response to a new moratorium issued by the Department of the Interior on new coal lease sales from federal land. Several public comment meetings were held in Wyoming to address the proposed shift, which Quinn said would keep coal in the ground and negatively impact the mining industry in rural communities in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota.
Quinn argued that coal mining on federal sites in the West has not resulted in off-site impacts, and encouraged the organization to keep prices as they are. According to Quinn, the Interior Department’s deputy inspector general stated that prices were fair and higher than market value in 2013.
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- On May 27, 2016