Obama Puts the Screws to America’s Coal Supply?
The Order states that “fee collections” and “regulation,inspection and enforcement,and state program oversight” will now be integrated—the 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 reorganization—especially since the impacted industry is the administration’s favorite villain—coal.
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 order’s surprise element can’t mean good things for coal mining.
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