Joshua Learn for SNL:
U.S. Republican senators are demanding that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell end the moratorium and government review process on the federal coal-leasing program, calling the process “compromised” and “prejudiced.”
Republican Sens. John Barrasso, Wyo.; Roy Blunt, Mo.; Shelley Moore Capito, W.Va.; Steve Daines, Mont.; Michael Enzi, Wyo.; Cory Gardner, Colo.; Orrin Hatch, Utah; John Hoeven, N.D.; and Mike Lee, Utah, sent a letter to Jewell dated July 14 that says a report published by President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors on June 22 set out to answer questions being addressed by the ongoing U.S. Bureau of Land Management review.
Tom Sanzillo, the director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, whose stated mission is to reduce dependence on coal and other nonrenewable energy resources, said that the lawmakers are “stalling the inevitable.”
“Calling off the moratorium will not stop natural gas and renewable energy from making market inroads. Those energy sources are cheaper, more abundant and more reliable than coal. Stalling will only make it less likely that the coal industry will ever adopt a viable financial strategy for itself,” he told S&P Global Market Intelligence.
He said the moratorium can only do good as the coal industry is “financially bankrupt and its leadership does not have a sound business strategy to bring it back.”
“It is doing for the coal industry what the coal industry cannot do for itself, discipline supply in an oversupplied market,” he continued.