American taxpayers are receiving less than they should from the sale of publicly-owned coal according to a report released by the White House today.
When coal companies mine federal coal, they pay a fee on each ton, a royalty payment.
These payments, and others, add up to hundreds of millions of dollars in government revenue every year. But in the report, White House economists write that because of the way royalties are structured, coal companies aren’t paying the full rate which is set at 12.5%.
In an email, Rick Curtsinger, a spokesperson for coal company Cloud Peak Energy, said the report was essentially a compilation of talking points from environmental groups.
"This self-serving 'report' from the Council of Economic Advisers is yet another illustration showing the frightening influence of anti-fossil fuel activists and donors on this Administration," Curtsinger wrote.
The report comes as people all over the country are weighing in on a variety of proposed changes to how the federal government manages coal including its impacts on the environment and on coal communities. These public hearings wrap up this week.