Lummis, McKinley Lead Letter Opposing Federal Coal Lease Moratorium
March 3, 2016
Late last week, Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large) and Coal Caucus Chairman David B. McKinley, P.E. (WV-01) co-led 11 fellow Members of the U.S. House in sending a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. The letter demanded the legal justification for the Administration¹s recent moratorium on any new leases for coal production on federal land as well as the estimate of jobs that will be lost because of the new lease moratorium.
Chairmen Lummis and McKinley issued the following statements:
"Abundant and affordable American coal remains the foundation of American energy production and about 40 percent of the nation¹s coal is produced on federal land," said Chairman Lummis. "But President Obama is consumed with keeping one of our most advantageous national resources in the ground. By taking new federal coal leases completely off the table, this moratorium will undermine fair returns for federal taxpayers on this public resource, disrupt revenue for local education and other public services in coal states like Wyoming, and continue the President¹s assault on reliable and affordable energy. The burden lies on Secretary Jewell and President Obama to justify this heavy-handed mandate that will raise energy costs for the American people in the long term and ruin the livelihoods of thousands of families."
"Public lands and the resources on them belong to all Americans and should not be held hostage to the President¹s extreme climate agenda," said Chairman McKinley. "This moratorium will mean fewer jobs, lost revenue, and more suffering in communities across America. As Chairman of the Coal Caucus I will continue to work with like-minded members from other regions to speak out against this plan with one voice. We will use every tool at our disposal to fight this."
“... President Obama is consumed with keeping one of our most advantageous national resources in the ground.” Cynthia Lummis, Western Caucus chairman
Excerpt from the letter:
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"Coal Production on federal lands creates jobs, provides affordable electricity and generates important revenue for the federal and state governments. As such, it is difficult to understand how efforts that preclude future coal production will ensure any return to the taxpayer, much less a fair return."
Additional signers: Rep. Ryan Zinke (MT-At large), Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND-At large), Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12), Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-05), Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06), Rep. Robert E. Latta (OH-05), Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06), and Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18).
–Congressional Western Caucus