Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Senators urge Obama admin to include carbon costs in coal program

Democratic U.S. senators on Monday urged the Obama administration to reform the federal coal mine program to include costs of the fuel's carbon emissions and potentially raise royalties paid by companies that mine the fuel on public lands. Advertisement Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, the top Democrat on the senate energy panel, and seven other senators asked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in a letter to use the agency's existing powers to develop a plan on federal coal mining. The federal leasing program on coal is nearly 40 years old and does not account for costs associated with carbon emissions. "We must be much more aggressive in reforming the outdated federal coal program," said Cantwell. "Taxpayers deserve a fair return on the sale of resources they own, but the current program is broken." A senate aide said one path Interior could take is to raise royalties on publicly mined coal above the current 12.5 percent. Public lands provide 40 percent of coal production. The lawmakers estimate that coal produced there accounts for 14 percent of all U.S. carbon pollution produced by energy...more

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