NMA Slams Federal Coal Lease Critics

National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn released the following statement concerning today’s House oversight hearings on the federal coal lease program:

“Raising the costs of coal leased on federal land is an especially foolish idea. First, by discouraging coal production it would deprive taxpayers and local governments of more than one billion dollars in annual revenue. Second, adding royalties on top of existing fees would add unfairly to the 39 percent effective tax rate that producers already pay to mine federal coal in the Powder River Basin. An industry that pays the government almost 40 cents of every dollar to provide a major source of low-cost energy to the U.S. economy does not ‘enjoy’ subsidies. Third, raising production costs to ‘keep coal in the ground’ may serve the interests of environmental pressure groups but not the interests of taxpayers seeking a fair return on a valuable resource.

“Critics of the federal coal lease program have neither an economic nor an environmental case to make that withstands the barest scrutiny. Congress is right to reject their view and uphold common sense and the interest of American consumers and taxpayers.”