White House economic advisers for the first time have taken a public position agreeing that there is “a real strong case for reform” to federal coal leasing. In a new report, the advisors call federal coal leasing “antiquated” and say decades of economic misalignment have resulted in “a distorted coal market with an artificially low price for most federal coal” that shortchanges American taxpayers. The report recommends raising fees and royalties for coal that companies take from federal land – by as much as 300 percent – to both boost revenue for taxpayers and to help meet White goals for reducing carbon emissions.
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