Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? On the one hand you’ve got the Democrats and their [partly housebroken] pet rogue agency, the EPA, busily trying to destroy the coal industry and affordable energy generally and on the other you’ve got the Administration fundraising by selling leases to mine said “dirty energy”.
Salazar Announces Coal Lease Sales in Wyoming
Leases Could Generate up to $21 Billion in Bids, Royalty Revenue
CHEYENNE, Wyoming — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold four competitive lease sales in coming months, offering Powder River Basin tracts in Wyoming that contain an estimated 758 million tons of low sulfur coal. The total bonus bids and royalty payments over the life of these leases are estimated to generate $13.4 to $21.3 billion, 49 percent of which would go to the State of Wyoming.
“Coal is a critical component of America’s comprehensive energy portfolio as well as Wyoming’s economy,” Secretary Salazar said in making his announcement with Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “As the number one coal producer from public lands, Wyoming provided nearly 40 percent of the domestic coal used to generate electricity last year and it’s important that we continue to encourage safe production of this important resource.”
“I applaud Secretary Salazar and his agency for moving forward with these leases,” Governor Mead said. “The electricity our country needs to thrive has to come from somewhere and right now coal powers many of our cities and industries. This coal also keeps Wyoming men and women working.”
The four sales, responding to Lease by Application (LBA) filings from companies to continue efficient operations and production from existing Powder River Basin coal mines, will be held in Cheyenne in a sealed bid process.
In total, the four tracts cover 7,441.25 acres containing an estimated 758 million tons of mineable coal. The federal share of bonus bids and royalty payments from these leases, 51 percent, would go to the U.S. Treasury. These LBA sales are the first of more than a dozen that BLM expects to hold for Powder River Basin coal tracts over the next three years. (Press Release)
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is correcting the estimated value to the government of millions of tons of Wyoming coal it intends to sell.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Tuesday that the BLM will auction off 758 million tons of coal in the Powder River Basin this year. Salazar said the coal will benefit the state and federal governments between $13.4 billion and $21.3 billion in taxes, royalties and other payments.
On Friday, the BLM told The Associated Press that estimate includes another 1.6 billion tons of coal to be sold at a future date.
The estimated value to the government was a key feature of Salazar’s announcement in Cheyenne on Tuesday.
The notification came after the Star-Tribune called both the BLM state office and the national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to notify them of the error and request comment Thursday. The BLM didn’t comment on the issue to the Star-Tribune despite numerous contact attempts Thursday and Friday.
That 1.6 billion tons of additional coal lies under 13,966 acres of land in the Powder River Basin and is part of four other leases still under consideration by the BLM, which is expected to reach a key decision within the next several months on the environmental impact of mining the leases.
The total in bonus bids, royalties payments and severence taxes was calculated over the life of the leases and nearly half of that total comes back to the state government.
The incorrect figure first caught the attention of Marion Loomis, executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association, who mentioned it to the Star-Tribune in an interview. He estimated the actual value to the government of 758 million tons of coal from the lease sales is more likely to be $2 billion.
The Interior Department’s statement about the announcement remained uncorrected on the department’s website late Friday. Department staff did correct a small, unrelated error in the statement on Thursday. (Star Tribune)