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DOI guilty of “politically contrived reasoning”

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World Coal,

The Obama Administration’s review of the federal coal leasing programme is predicated on “politically contrived reasoning”, according to the US National Mining Association (NMA).

“The administration’s justifications mirror the activist with list for ‘keeping coal in the ground’ and lack any marks of a responsible fact-based assessment of the current federal coal programme,” said Hal Quinn, President and CEO of the NMA.

The DOI is reviewing the coal leasing programme, claiming that it has resulted in artificially low coal prices, reducing potential government revenues from the scheme – a claim the NMA disputes.

A report prepared by Norwest Corp. for the NMA, claims to expose the “fictional narrative that underpins the moratorium”. The report accuses the DOI of relying on anti-coal advocacy papers to support its review – despite having rejected the claims of such advocacy papers in the past.

“The same Secretary who defended the department’s coal leasing program now cites pressure group reports to justify ending it,” said the NMA. “Without explaining its change in position, DOI appears to blithely accept these groups’ contentions on a range of issues,” including the notion that the current leasing system has failed to deliver a fair rate of return.

“If the administration was sincerely interested in increasing revenue, it would lift the moratorium on federal lease sales and commit to an efficient process that optimises, rather than reduces, the benefits that flow to every American from the development of the nation’s federal coal resources,” concluded Quinn.

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