September 1, 2017 Read More →

‘Corporate Welfare’ in Colorado Governor’s Approval of Arch Coal Royalty Reduction


Colorado’s governor has thrown his support behind Arch Coal Inc.’s request to pay lower royalty rates for the coal it mines from its West Elk operation.

The coal producer submitted a renewal request earlier this summer for a royalty rate reduction at its West Elk mine that had been previously approved. Arch sought a reduction from 8% to 5% after the previous rate reduction had expired.

Gov. John Hickenlooper wrote a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management expressing his support for the request as long as Arch’s subsidiary Mountain Coal Co works to develop a way of capturing methane released by the West Elk mine.

Ted Zukoski, a staff attorney with Earthjustice, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the proposal looks like “corporate welfare” and that the mine was the single largest industrial methane polluter in the state from 2011 to 2015.

He said he hopes Hickenlooper got a commitment from Arch to reduce West Elk’s methane pollution.

“Talk is cheap, and Arch has done little for a decade but talk and vent billions of cubic feet of methane. The state of Colorado can regulate this pollution. It did so with the oil and gas industry; it can and must do so for coal mine methane if Arch continues to filibuster.”

More: ($) Colo. governor supports Arch’s request for lower royalty rate at West Elk

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