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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Wyoming board votes to tighten self-bonding reclamation rules for coal companies

Wyoming Public Media: Wyoming’s Environmental Quality Council, an independent board within the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), has approved updates to how companies guarantee reclamation costs. If signed by the Governor, the decision would limit mining companies’ access to self-bonding— essentially an IOU to pay reclamation costs, rather than a financial guarantee. Bob LeResche, vice […]

February 22, 2019 Read More →

Wyoming moves forward with self-bonding limits

Casper Star Tribune: Wyoming’s largest coal mines would effectively be banned from self-bonding if the proposed rules that passed an advisory board Wednesday make it through one more round of public input and onto the governor’s desk. At a sparsely attended meeting in Casper, citizen members of the Land Quality Advisory Board voted 4-1 to […]

September 20, 2018 Read More →

Push to End Self-Bonding in Wyoming Picks Up Speed

The Sheridan Press: The Powder River Basin Resource Council has submitted a petition to the [Wyoming] Department of Environmental Quality to end self-bonding for coal companies in the state, contributing to mounting pressure against the practice. Federal law requires coal companies to secure bonds that will guarantee the costs to restore the land a mine […]

May 7, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Taxpayer Exposure to U.S. Coal Reclamation Costs Runs Deep

IEEFA Update: Taxpayer Exposure to U.S. Coal Reclamation Costs Runs Deep

Public Risk in Alaska, Colorado, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming

A report that came out last month from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office recommends that Congress eliminate the risky system of self-bonding by coal-mining companies. But the report also raises concerns about the financial stability of surety-bond companies, a much more common form of reclamation bonding, as well as problems with underfunding for mine cleanup costs. […]

April 20, 2018 Read More →

Citing Cleanup Risk, Government Agency Calls for End to Self-Bonding by U.S. Coal Companies

Climate Home: A US federal agency has asked Congress to consider banning coal mine “self-bonding,” a controversial practice that can leave taxpayers paying to clean up disused sites. The recommendation came in a report published on Thursday by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). It is a high-profile attack on self-bonds, which allow companies to […]

April 6, 2018 Read More →

Op Ed: It’s Time To Prohibit Self-Bonding By Coal Companies

Caspar Star Tribune: This past month a completely unknown and unproven company called Blackjewel, LLC “bought” two of Wyoming’s oldest and biggest coal mines. More particularly, they were given the mines in exchange for assuming their cleanup risks and some hypothetical future royalties. They acquired the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines near Gillette from […]

January 8, 2018 Read More →

The Coal Company Formerly Known as Alpha Natural Resources Agrees to End Questionable Self-Bonding Scheme for Cleanup Costs

Casper Star Tribune: Contura Energy will ditch its collateral bonds in favor of secure insurance to guarantee the cleanup of its Wyoming coal mines after local environmental advocates pushed for stricter accountability. The clash of interests follows a long series of battles during the coal downturn. Coal companies, environmentalists and state and federal regulators frequently […]

April 18, 2017 Read More →

Congressional Democrats Move to Block U.S. Coal Industry’s ‘Self-Bonding’

SNL: A new bill from Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate aims to reform federal laws that allow the coal sector to self-bond its environmental liabilities. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Penn., joined other colleagues in the House and Senate to introduce the Coal Cleanup Taxpayer Protection Act. “As coal companies […]

April 3, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Conference: Long Odds for U.S. Coal; Transition in Europe

‘We Live in a Time of Energy-consumption Choices, and Consumers Want Clean Energy'

The U.S. coal industry faces long odds against recovery, said panel members today at IEEFA’s Energy Finance 2017 conference in New York. Sheldon Stone, a partner at Amherst Partners in Detroit who specializes in bankruptcy cases, said bankruptcy-recovery plans filed by the likes of Peabody Energy and Alpha Natural Resources will in all likelihood fail. […]

Peabody to Stop Using ‘Self-Bonding’ for Cleanup Obligations; May Revive It in the Future

Reuters: U.S. coal miner Peabody Energy Corp said on Monday it has agreed to set aside collateral to cover future mine cleanup costs as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, ending its controversial use of “self-bonds.” For decades the largest U.S. coal companies have used a federal practice known as “self-bonding,” which exempts companies from […]

March 8, 2017 Read More →