Northern Plains Resource Council, January 4, 2013
Farmers and ranchers living in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming welcome a congressional investigation into whether U.S. taxpayers are receiving full royalties from coal mined on federal lands.
U.S. Senate Energy Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today are concerned about return to taxpayers from the sale of federal coal following media reports and studies citing flaws in the federal coal royalty collection process.
“Montanans have a lot of questions about the impacts of mining our coal, shipping it to West Coast ports, and sending it to customers in Asia,” said Walter Archer, a rancher from Olive, Mont., and Chair of the Northern Plains Resource Council. “But there is no question that taxpayers deserve a full and fair royalty payment when their coal is mined. If the only way coal companies can make money is to get this coal on the cheap from taxpayers, and send it overseas, that is a very bad deal all the way around.”