IEEFA Research

The Federal Government’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

The Federal Government’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

Appoint a Price-Setting Commission; Ban Exports; Cancel Some Leases; Eliminate Self-Bonding; Mandate Set-Asides for Mine Clean-up and Miner Pensions; Require Twice-a-Year Audits; Assume Smaller Markets

It’s time for the U.S. to modernize how it manages its publicly owned coal reserves. That’s the essence of comments we’ve filed today with the Department of the Interior as it begins a review of its federal coal-leasing program in the Powder River Basin, a program that has been mismanaged for years at taxpayer expense […]

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Mounting Risk (and Opportunity) in Coal Industry Self-Bonding

Gregory DL Morris for Risk & Insurance: Waves of bankruptcies convulsing the coal industry in the United States leave billions of dollars in mine remediation costs potentially unfunded, and raise ominous questions for both tactical insurance and strategic risk management. Dozens of coal companies are in court-supervised reorganization or liquidation, some of them for the […]

October 3, 2016 Read More →

Strong Public Support for RECLAIM Act in Eastern Kentucky

Bill Estep for the Louisville (Ky.) Herald-Leader: There is strong support among voters of all stripes for a proposal that would provide $1 billion for mine reclamation projects in Eastern Kentucky and other areas hurt by a slump in coal jobs, according to a seven-state poll released Monday. The poll found that 89 percent of […]

September 27, 2016 Read More →

With Demise of Coal Industry’s Self-Bonding, a Shortage of Alternatives

Joshua Learn for SNL: As more and more coal producers shift away from the practice of self-bonding, companies may have an increasingly difficult time finding surety bonds to back their reclamation obligations. “We are seeing that surety bonding is becoming more expensive and less available,” said Anna Zubets-Anderson, a senior analyst at Moody, at a […]

September 15, 2016 Read More →

Arch Coal Says It Will End Its ‘Self-Bonding’ Scheme and Make Good on Mine Cleanups

Tracy Rucinksi for Reuters: U.S. coal miner Arch Coal has agreed to set aside collateral to cover future mine cleanup costs as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, according to a court filing, ending its controversial use of “self-bonds.” For decades the largest U.S. coal companies have used a federal subsidy known as “self-bonding,” which […]

September 13, 2016 Read More →

In Bankruptcy Proceedings, Abandoned Cleanup Costs May Result in Coal Companies Losing Permits on Active Mines

Joshua Learn for SNL: With the threat of liquidation weighing over bankruptcy proceedings involving the largest U.S. coal miners, environmental groups and government regulators must often make difficult choices about environmental liabilities. Brian Resnick of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP said that as a bankruptcy lawyer, the ideal solution for insolvent producers is to let […]

September 12, 2016 Read More →

BLM Official in Wyoming: Coal Reserves ‘Belong to the American People’

Taylor Kuykendall for SNL: Officials charged with leasing federal coal remain busy even if there is moratorium on the practice. Mary Jo Rugwell was selected as the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s state director for Wyoming, the nation’s top-producing coal state, earlier this year. While new coal leases are paused for a review of the […]

September 8, 2016 Read More →

U.S. Moves to Protect Taxpayers, State by State, From Coal Cleanup Costs

Tracy Rucinski for Reuters: States should force coal companies to set aside collateral to pay for future mine cleanups and protect taxpayers as the industry braces for further declines, a leading federal regulator said on Tuesday. Three of the largest U.S. coal producers, Peabody Energy, Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources, have filed for bankruptcy […]

August 10, 2016 Read More →

At Pennsylvania Pilot Project, U.S. Interior Secretary Promises More Investment in Hard-Hit Mining Communities

Don Hopey for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Mayor Ray Plummer was all smiles Thursday morning as bulldozers, front-loaders and massive trucks dug into the mountain of coal waste that towers over his home and this tiny Cambria County town of 200 along the stone-cold-dead Little Conemaugh River. “It’s a good day for our residents,” he said, […]

August 5, 2016 Read More →

Alberta Moves to Protect Taxpayers From Coal-Mine Cleanup Costs

Tracy Johnson for CBC News: As Alberta moves away from coal-fired electricity, the provincial government is trying to ensure it will not be on the hook to clean up old coal mines once they stop operating. The Alberta Energy Regulator is planning to audit nine coal mines beginning by mid-September to ensure that each operator […]

July 29, 2016 Read More →

On the Blogs: Ruling Favors New Restrictions on Self-Bonding

Kari Lydersen for Midwest Energy News: A federal bankruptcy judge found that the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the Western Office of Resource Councils can proceed in petitioning the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) regarding Peabody’s use of “self-bonding” for eventual clean-up of its coal mines. When a company is […]

July 26, 2016 Read More →