Friday, June 24, 2016

Three Things to Know About Obama’s Overhaul of the Federal Coal Program

In this April 4, 2013 photo, coal is loaded onto hopper cars at the Spring Creek Mine near Decker, Mont. At least 30 applications from companies seeking to mine hundreds of millions of tons of coal face suspension as the government reviews its sales of the fuel from public lands, U.S. officials disclosed Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (Photo Credit: AP/Matthew Brown) Click to Enlarge.
[T]he Obama administration’s efforts to reform the federal coal program are on a fast track, with listening sessions being held around the country, reform proposals being generated from members of Congress and experts, and public opinion in strong favor of reform.

For a federal program that was frozen in time for more than 30 years, the pace of change in the last few months has been impressive to even the staunchest advocates for reform.  Here are three things to keep in mind as federal coal reform heats up:

The federal government has concluded that the coal program is shortchanging taxpayers
The environmental costs of the federal coal program are increasingly clear
Concerned citizens are speaking up for reform
Since the administration’s move to update the federal coal program to account for taxpayer interests and environmental challenges, there has been a groundswell of support for reforming the federal coal program.  Although congressional anti-parks caucus member Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) called the White House’s report “propaganda," at least six in every 10 voters in Western coal states support updating the coal-leasing program, according to a poll out his week by Public Policy Polling.

Read more at Three Things to Know About Obama’s Overhaul of the Federal Coal Program

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