Powder River Basin Resource Council Petitions Wyoming DEQ to End Self-Bonding and Protect Taxpayers and Adjacent Landowners

May 1, 2018 This week the Powder River Basin Resource Council (Resource Council) filed a formal rulemaking petition with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Land Quality Division to end the practice of self-bonding for coal mines. In order to better shield Wyoming taxpayers from having to fund mine clean-up in the event of a […]

GAO Report on Coal Mine Self-Bonding March 2018

Coal accounts for 17 percent of domestic energy production. SMCRA requires coal mine operators to reclaim lands that were disturbed during mining and to submit a financial assurance in an amount sufficient to ensure that adequate funds will be available to complete reclamation if the operator does not do so. Recent coal company bankruptcies have […]

Petition to Amend Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Rules on Self-Bonding

The Resource Council, along with its over 1,000 members throughout the state, advocates for the conservation of Wyoming’s unique land, mineral, water, and clean air resources consistent with responsible use of those resources to sustain the livelihood of present and future generations. Since its founding in 1973, the Resource Council has worked on coal mining […]

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, […]