Rep. Stewart’s Statement on Interior Department’s Review of Federal Coal Program

The U.S. Department of Interior released their results of a year-long review of the nation’s federal coal program.

The report represents part of the final attempt by an outgoing administration to regulate America’s vast energy reserves so much so that they are economically unviable.

Regarding the report, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), released the following statement:

“This announcement represents the same policies that American’s rejected with the election of Donald Trump. This so-called “roadmap” will not only put coal miners out of jobs, it’s a life sentence of hamstrung economic opportunity in the communities that have been the most devastated by President Obama’s extremist environmental agenda.”

“The department’s suggestion that the government doesn’t receive a fair return in royalties or land usage and that the environmental reviews for coal leasing are deficient is nonsense. Under current regulations, each of the sites in the federal coal program undergo extensive environmental review that includes public comment, a process that regularly takes a decade per location. The sites also undergo extensive suitability and economic evaluation to determine the fair market value of minable resources. Leases to mine this coal are sold at auction to the highest bidder and if the Department of the Interior suspects the leases are underbid, it reserves the right to withhold a lease.”

“Let’s be clear about the intention of this announcement: make coal mining on public land unprofitable through regulation. The federal coal program brings in billions of dollars in royalty payments that are shared with the states. These royalties are used for education, safety and infrastructure improvements. The Department of Interior should abandon this unnecessary process. I look forward to Incoming Secretary Zinke putting a stop to this and so many other job-killing policies.”

The text of the report can be found HERE.