Bankruptcies and Inadequate Bonds Threaten Taxpayers, Landowners with Orphan Oil and Gas Wells

In the midst of historically low oil prices and plummeting demand due to coronavirus restrictions, inadequate federal and state reclamation bonding requirements make it easier for deeply indebted oil and gas operators to declare bankruptcy and walk away from orphaned wells en masse. A recent report by the Western Organization of Resource Councils examining the […]

Powder River Breaks July – August 2019

July – August 2019, Volume 47, Number 4 Early in the morning on July 1, Blackjewel, LLC and associated companies operating 32 coal mines in Wyoming, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky filed for bankruptcy. Later that day, emergency funding fell through as banks that had previously financed the operations of Blackjewel owner Jeff Hoops no […]

Conservation Groups Seek to Join Wyoming Suit Over Coal, Oil, Gas Revenue

July 26, 2019 The groups’ motion to intervene can be found online here . Groups aim to ensure companies pay a fair return for taxpayer-owned minerals Five conservation groups moved today to intervene in a lawsuit to preserve the 2016 Valuation Rule, a set of federal requirements requiring fossil fuel companies to pay full royalties […]

Filings for 2016 Valuation Rule Lawsuit

July 25, 2019 Natural Resources Defense Council, Northern Plains Resource Council, Powder River Basin Resource Council, The Wilderness Society, and  Western Organization of Resource Councils (collectively, Conservation Groups), by and through their counsel, respectfully move to intervene as Respondents in the above-captioned matter. The Conservation Groups move to intervene as of right, or alternatively, to […]

Powder River Statement on Contura Bid for Blackjewel Mines

July 25, 2019 “On one hand we are relieved that Contura Coal West will remain on the hook and the responsible party for the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines, but on the other hand, there are still significantly large concerns. The state of Wyoming and the Department of Interior should demand that Contura pay […]

Western Landowners Groups Call for Comprehensive Review of the Federal Coal Program

June 10, 2019 (Sheridan, WY) Powder River Basin Resource Council, Northern Plains Resource Council, Dakota Resource Council, Western Colorado Alliance, and the Western Organization of Resource Councils, through comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) submitted today, asked the Department of Interior (DOI) to re-initiate its comprehensive review of the federal coal program and […]

Government Watchdog Highlights Increasing Taxpayer Cost to Cleanup Orphaned Wells

June 5, 2018 Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report that finds the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not accurately accounting for orphaned onshore oil and gas wells, or the risk that taxpayers will have to shoulder the cleanup risks. The report, Bureau of Land Management Needs to Improve Its Data […]

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 […]

The Federal Oil and Gas Program Must Be Reformed

Today Powder River Basin Resource Council 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 to the American people and to comply with federal laws. The signers are Dan Bucks, former […]