Skip to comments.Obama Tightens Screw on America's Coal Supply
Posted on 11/06/2011 1:50:15 PM PST by Kaslin
Weeks after the infamous BP oil spill in late-April 2010, the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the agency that managed leasing and regulation, was split up into three parts.
Addressing the reorganization, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, said: We will be able to strengthen oversight of the companies that develop our nations energy resources. He addressed a perceived conflict of interest between departments due to the leasing and regulatory functions being in one agencyone brings in revenue and one regulates (and perhaps punishes) the businesses generating the income.
His mid-May 2010 actions bring his new Secretarial Order to reorganize a different agency into question.
On October 26, 2011, Secretary Salazar signed Secretarial Order 3315 that will consolidate the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The Order states that fee collections and regulation, inspection and enforcement, and state program oversight will now be integratedthe very tasks split out within the MMS reorganization.
Because this new order seems in direct contradiction to the 2010 SO 3299, it raises suspicion as to the true purpose of the agency reorganizationespecially since the impacted industry is the administrations favorite villaincoal.
SO 3315 was announced to the surprise of most in the industry. Charlie Boddy, a mining and government relations consultant with more than 40 years in the industry and former VP of government relations with Usibelli Coal Mine Inc., said when he first heard the announcement, he thought it was a joke. It is, he said, without a doubt, the most bizarre proposal to come out of the Obama Administration.
The fact that there was no consultation with the stakeholders, states, or Congress raises additional concerns. If there was a desire to work with the industry, the general belief is that they would have been involved. The orders surprise element cant mean good things for coal mining.
On November 4, as a part of a hearing on an investigation into a re-write of the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule, Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) stated: In addition, we will also discuss the recent Secretarial Order requiring the merger of the Office of Surface Mining with the Bureau of Land Management. A proposal I am deeply concerned about impacting the ability of the nations ability to access our vast coal resources. Furthermore there are clear statutory limitations prohibiting the OSM from leasing or promoting coal, which is a key responsibility of the BLM.
Doc Hastings (R-WA), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement: I have serious concerns about this Secretarial Order to suddenly and dramatically alter the management of coal mining and the multiple-use of Western BLM lands. The Obama Administration has not made secret its desire to put an end to Americas coal-mining industry, and this appears to be one more step in that direction.
Because of the bombshell nature of the announcement, the administrations attitude toward the coal industry, the totally different missions of the OSM and the BLM, and the fact that they operate under different specific provisions and acts of Congress, the proposed merger can only be considered suspect.
In an internal memo to the DOI team, Secretary Salazar states: This integration reflects our ongoing commitment to good government and claims that it is about Doing more in a limited budget environment.
The OSM is a little agency by comparison to the BLM. OSM's 2011 budget appropriation is about $160 million compared to more than $1.1 billion for BLM. OSM has about 500 employees, compared to 10,000 at BLM. In the scheme of government fat, OSM is one of the tiniest little targets you can take aim at, said Kathy Karpan, a former OSM director. It's a little, tiny entity that would be lost at BLM.
Industry sources fear that OSM will be lost inside the BLM and view the move as a way to make coal mining more difficult; to delay permitting. Normally a coal mine can be permitted through OSM in less than a year. Permitting of a hard rock mine through the BLM can take 7-10 years.
The OSM deals with mines on private or Indian landsmostly in the east. They cooperate with the states. They do regulation.
The BLM deals with federal landsmostly in the west. They have little experience with private lands or state agencies. The generate revenues.
Like last years SO 3310 that circumvented Congress unique ability to designate Wilderness Areas by creating a new Wild Lands designation, SO 3315 brings authority into question. Insiders believe that a reorganization of this magnitude requires congressional action.
Some industry groups are taking a wait-and-see approach: It may be a good idea, but no one really knows. Coal mining companies are still evaluating, but initial reactions are not supportive.
History tells us that we do not need to wait and see. The longer there is silence, the harder it will be to reverse the order, which is scheduled to become effective December 1, 2011following consultation with applicable congressional committees and will remain in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked, whichever occurs first.
While this may seem like a little issue in light of all the big problems we are facing in America, it is one more in a string of power grabs designed to take away authority from the states and move it to the federal governmentmeaning more centralized power. Dont let them slip it in until revoked. Call Congress and stop SO 3315 before it starts.
Ultimately, less coal mining means job cuts, higher electricity prices, and a diminished America.
when did coal, oil and gas become a crime?
And the UMWA robots will go in and pull the Obama lever again.
What woukd Tiger’s caddy do ?
Anything to hurt America.
What would Tiger’s caddy do ?
Time to start investing in torches and kerosene lamps.
That’s the goal
A little more than a year to continue to suffer these fools.
Obama is an idiot.
Some how I have got to figure this out. They don’t want nuke, oil, gas, wood burning, coal, natural gas, dams for power, etc. Does this mob actually believe the ENTIRE nation can be heated and cooled and run industry on WIND and SOLAR POWER? Do they REALLY believe that stuff? Are they truly THAT stupid? Okay, okay, I know the answers!!! YES!!!!!
Obama is killing America.
When we take our country back, the first thing we need to do is put the Holders and Salazars of this regime in prison.
Obama is also trying to shutdown many coal fired electric plants.
The NE is going to get whacked with higher energy costs.
Obama told us the plan prior to the election, but it went in one ear, and out the other, with millions of starry eyed fools.
High energy costs is their lever towards that goal.
coal, oil and gas became a crime when liberals took over the government. We have to have windmills, solar, biofuels, but not nuclear, hydroelectric, or any kind of fossil fuel.
And we’re supposed to buy a Chevy Volt. I hear sales of that car are lagging far behind the modest goals they set.
When we elected the first anti-American US President.
Second, if you count Peanut Boy.
July 20, 2009.
When someone shows me a solar panel factory that runs on solar panels alone, or a wind turbine factory that runs on wind turbines alone, then I will give the technology some credence.
They know it is crap.
They are trying to starve America.
They are that dumb and ignorant
They are suffering from cranial rectilitus.
It’s another ripoff by Obama, but the silver lining is that it could help those in nat gas.
Obama may be trying to close a door, but he’s opening a window.
Maybe when he’s gone we can let free markets decide between energy sources again. What a concept!
He may be an idiot organizer but someone organized his administration and they know how to play the game and are slick as the oil they detest. Come to think of it, I bet they don’t detest oil or coal, they only detest the free market allowing those with the means and brains to harvest the oil and coal and make the money. That is the reason. They are thieves. Otherwise, why all the vacations, golf, parties, etc. and if they didn’t want money how would the candidate organizer in chief end up with 150 million in his campaign coffer?
Boy I am in a bad mood. Sorry I keep going on.
The Department of Energy, a creation of Jimmy Carter (the second worst president), needs to be done away with. The Nuclear National Security Administration, which oversees the nuclear arsenal, should then be placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense.
“When we take our country back, the first thing we need to do is put the Holders and Salazars of this regime in prison.”
I agree, a nice wind and solar powered one. And as a mercy we could put in bicycle and treadmill powered generators to assist in keeping the place warm in it’s Arctic home.
When the people start watching energy they'll move on to another leaving a
trail of unemployed bodies behind. The next generation will do even more
damage due to the indoctrination they are receiving right now. Unless something is done, and fast.
We need a conservative President with balls, and a VP with bigger balls to
handle the out of control Rats and Rino'. Shutting down 1/3 of the current
government will set their agenda back at least 30-years.
Lets go for 1/2..
I wonder how much windex is used yearly!
January 20, 2009
Back during the campaign and after he swore to shut down the coal industry, the United Mine Workers Association’s entire home page was a declaration of support for Hussein.
Obama said he would bankrupt the coal industries but his supporters were apparently too stoopid to understand what he meant when he said that. Now they re saying “My electric bill is what?”
Somebody should publicly ask Obama what he thinks of cold fusion and E-cat.
Hydrogen is another potential winner, one which could borrow parts of the existing gas infrastructure - and hydrogen cells are completely "green" - zero pollution.
Point is, both sides can meet their (stated! very important qualification) goals without massive paradigm shift - and associated costs - to existing infrastructure.
thats because they are mining coal like crazy- to send to China. Check out the coal exports to China since obama took office
UMW miners are now coolies, with benefits
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