CMA News Release: Colorado’s Mining Industry and Supporters Blast Interior Department Plan to Raise Taxes on Energy Consumption

CMA-News-Release-LogoAugust 18, 2015


Contact: Stuart Sanderson / 303-575-9199



          Denver, Colorado – Colorado Mining Association (CMA) President Stuart Sanderson took aim at the Department of the Interior’s recent proposal to raise royalty rates on leased federal coal at a “Listening Session” held in Golden today.

“The Department of the Interior has said that it wants to have an ‘honest conversation’ about whether the public is receiving a fair return on federal coal resources,” said CMA President Stuart Sanderson, “but it refuses to acknowledge the government’s own role in causing the decline in coal production resulting from the Obama Administration’s own rules and policies designed to drive coal out of the energy mix.”

Coal producers on federal lands, according to statements submitted by the National Mining Association and others, already pay above market rates for federal royalties.   “The system is working well and, as a result, royalties on federal coal produced in Colorado have returned hundreds of millions of dollars to federal coffers over the years,” Sanderson said.   “But mandates to shut down coal plants and end coal use have caused coal production in Colorado, the bulk of which takes place on federal leases, to decline by nearly half during the past ten years,” he added.   And the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon regulations are a principal reason for both past, present, and future declines in production.   As a result, Colorado royalty payments have fallen by more than one third in recent years.

“These royalty payments are essential to providing funding for public schools and other important governmental functions,” Sanderson said.   “An increase in royalty rates is also yet another tax on energy consumers that is destined to harm Colorado’s economy,” Sanderson added.

Residents from throughout Colorado, including several representing local governments and congressional interests, also showed up to express the same concerns.

The Colorado Mining Association (CMA) is an industry association, founded in 1876, whose more than 1,000 members include the producers of coal and other minerals throughout Colorado and the west; as well as those who provide services, support and supplies to the industry.

Read CMA Statement