Why Does So Much U.S. Coal Come from Federal Land?
The Obama administration is taking a new look at what companies pay to mine some of the public's fossil-fuel stores.
By hitting “pause” on granting new federal coal leases, the Obama administration is facing up to an uncomfortable reality in its drive to meet climate targets: Nearly 41 percent of American coal comes from government-owned land.
The price industry pays to mine that coal hasn’t changed in more than 30 years. Now, the Interior Department plans for the first time to factor impacts on the environment and human health into the deal. The shift announced Friday aims to bring a decades-old leasing policy more in line with global efforts, recently solidified at UN-led talks in Paris, to cut planet-warming fossil-fuel emissions.
That’s likely more bad news for the ailing coal industry, which depends significantly on the government’s reserves and saw one