WORC Report Finds Coal Self-Bonding Unnecessary and Risky

April 5, 2018 The practice of self-bonding at coal mines could be ended today without a significant impact to the coal mining industry. That’s the conclusion of a new report, Now is the Time to End Self-Bonding, which points out that self-bonds in the West have hit a historic low, and that conventional alternatives to […]

Now Is the Time to End Self-Bonding

In the eight months between August 2015 and April 2016, the three largest coal companies in the United States all filed for bankruptcy: Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources. Between them, they had pledged $2.3 billion of self-bonds in support of mine cleanup, known as “reclamation.” Coal companies are required by law to […]

The Clean Power Plan Serves Public Health & Safety

March 26, 2018 (Gillette, Wyo.) In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final version of the Clean Power Plan (Plan), a program to reduce harmful emissions and carbon pollution from power plants. Just about a year ago, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the EPA to review the program. Shortly thereafter, EPA […]

Powder River Basin Resource Council Statement on Ramaco Rezone in Tongue River Valley

Today the Sheridan County Commission voted 3 – 2 to approve Ramaco Wyoming Coal Company’s application to rezone 114 acres in the Tongue River Valley from agricultural to light industrial. Powder River Basin Resource Council (Resource Council) had lodged comments opposing the rezoning, as had a number of Resource Council members. Testimony stretched out for […]

Bob LeResche: Contura Sale Underscores Need to End Self-Bonding

January 2018 The following op-ed ran in the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Gillette News Record, WyoFile, Sheridan Press, and Billings Gazette. This past month a completely unknown and unproven company called Blackjewel, LLC “bought” two of Wyoming’s oldest and biggest coal mines. More particularly, they were given the mines in exchange for assuming their cleanup […]

New report offers solutions to delinquent mineral taxes

January 11, 2018 In the face of a statewide budget crisis, mineral extraction companies owe Wyoming taxpayers over $42 million in county taxes unpaid on their operations throughout the state. Today Powder River Basin Resource Council released a new report “Tax Delinquencies and Budget Deficits: A Case for Reform,” which tracked delinquent mineral taxes in 12 counties from 2006 – 2016. The report […]

Delinquent Mineral Taxes and Budget Deficits: A Case for Reform

Mineral tax revenue is extremely important to Wyoming counties and schools. Over the course of the past five months, Powder River reached out to treasurers in 12 counties and discovered a $42 million deficit in mineral tax collection. In our recent report, Mineral Tax Delinquency and Budget Deficits, we offered several suggestions that, if followed, […]

Powder River Breaks September October 2017

September – October 2017 Volume 45, Number 5 Powder River Pushes for Federal Oil & Gas Reform On September 14th, Powder River joined with other stakeholders to file a petition requesting the Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management update how they manage oil and gas leasing on public lands to give a fair return […]

Mark Squillace: Taxpayers deserve a fair return from our public coal resources

This week in Washington, D.C., the Department of the Interior convened a select group of industry executives and state government officials to serve on a Royalty Policy Committee. The committee will advise the Trump administration on the need for new polices on mineral royalties and other key mechanisms for assuring that American taxpayers get the […]

PRBRC and Landowner Statements on EQC Decision to reject the Ramaco Brook Coal Mine Permit

Today, Tongue River landowners and the Powder River Basin Resource Council praised the decision of the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council to reject Ramaco’s Brook Mine permit application as submitted.  “We are grateful for the diligent efforts by the EQC members, who sat through a seven-day hearing and concluded that the proposed permit did not adequately […]