Two Chances to Lend Your Voice to Coal Reform

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America’s federal coal leasing program is broken – and High Country Conservation Advocates (HCCA) is calling on YOU to help fix it! There are two opportunities to lend your voice to help reform our coal leasing system. One involves traveling to Grand Junction, the other only requires writing a letter. Can you commit to one?

Opportunity #1

  • What: The BLM is coming to Grand Junction to listen to the public about reforming the federal coal program – and we need you to raise your voice there!
  • When: June 23rd, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Two Rivers Convention Center’s Avalon Theatre, 645 Main Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501
  • Why: The federal coal program regulates how leases are granted, how royalties are determined, how reclamation is accomplished, and much more. But our broken, generation-old guidelines have been putting coal executives ahead of Coloradans long enough. We need 21st century standards that reduce pollution, deliver a fair return to taxpayers and local governments, restore competition, and ensure mine cleanup that safeguards local communities.
  • How: Public Lands Director Matt Reed will be leaving EARLY in the morning of the day of the hearing. He has room for three other people in his car. If you’re interested in carpooling, or are able to drive your own vehicle, please email Matt at matt@hccacb.org. Or sign up and get more information at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1804673963089118/.

Opportunity #2

  • What: Request that BLM deny Arch Coal’s request for royalty relief!
  • When: Anytime up to June 20th
  • Where: From the comfort of your own home! All you need is email access.
  • Why: Mountain Coal Company (MCC), a subsidiary of Arch Coal, operates the West Elk Mine in Gunnison County. MCC is seeking the renewal of its royalty rate reduction from the BLM, a request that would reduce by 37.5% the royalties MCC would otherwise remit to federal, state and local taxpayers. MCC has not and cannot make the showing that it merits a royalty rate reduction. This is especially true in light of the fact that Arch Coal paid its executives $8 million in bonuses in January 2016. That is approximately the same amount that the State of Colorado estimated in 2012 that its taxpayers would have to give up in total under Arch’s previous royalty relief request for the same leases! Arch Coal should not be allowed to shortchange taxpayers here in Gunnison County so that the company can provide hefty bonuses to its executives. Arch has the wherewithal to mine these leases without reducing the payments that Colorado taxpayers deserve under law.
  • How: Contact BLM State Director Ruth Welch at rwelch@blm.gov and urge the agency to reject MCC’s most recent request for royalty reduction. Tell BLM that MCC needs no royalty rate cut to encourage it to continue operating the West Elk Mine, and Gunnison County coffers shouldn’t be shortchanged to reward a handful of wealthy executives.