Groups Sue BLM Over Coal Leases

Groups Sue BLM Over Coal Leases

by RP Siegel
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#Environmental groups file lawsuit against @BLMNational over #coal leases - more from @RPSiegel on @Justmeans

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Monday, December 8, 2014 - 8:00am



The Department of Interior is a quiet sector of the government, that we don’t hear too much about, and I have a feeling they like it that way. As guardians of the vast natural resources situated on and in America’s public lands and waters, they have come to develop an unusual and perhaps and unusually friendly relationship with those businesses that exploit those resources. We heard, for example, about the Minerals Management Service (now part of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) and their less than exemplary behavior around the time of the BP Gulf oil spill, which they were supposedly keeping an eye on, becoming for a time the poster child for the word lax.

Another bureau that tries to keep a low profile is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This bureau, oversees, among other things, the vast reserves of coal situated on western lands. The bureau received attention this past summer, when it came to light that the coal being mined on 570 million acres of leased Federal land, which represents a full 40% of all the coal produced in this country, was being made available to the coal mining companies at prices well below market value. Not only does this distort the energy marketplace in favor of coal, but it also deprives US taxpayers of substantial royalties that are owed to the government by the coal companies based on the agreed value of the coal. The companies do not include the substantial markups they receive when selling the coal overseas in their reporting.

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RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel.