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Law Professor Discusses Report Claiming Federal Coal Lease System ‘Out Of Date’


The Government Accountability Office released a report earlier this week that outlined problems in the federal coal leasing system. The report called the Bureau of Land Management’s process ‘out of date.’

GAO’s report said the BLM is inconsistent in how it determines fair market value, does not consistently document the rationale for accepting low bids and does not use extant third party review services to make sure its valuation is correct. It also said the BLM does not consider exports fully when calculating fair market value and lacks transparency about its process.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov spoke with professor of law at the University of Colorado Law School, Mark Squillace. He’s been concerned for years that BLM undervalues federal coal and says the American people are missing out on a lot of revenue because of it.   

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
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