Hoeven Statement in Response to the Administration Moratorium on Federal Coal Leases

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the administration’s announcement that it will review the federal coal program and suspend issuing new coal leases:

“Today, President Obama announced a moratorium on federal coal leases. He is again trying to go around Congress by imposing regulations that will slow down the leasing process and add expense in order to prevent coal mining on public and private lands. That’s a problem because it will destroy jobs, raise the cost of electricity for consumers and prevent the investments necessary to develop new technologies that will produce more energy, more efficiently and with better environmental stewardship.”

As much as 20 percent of the coal in North Dakota comes from federal leases. These leases are difficult and expensive to mine around, tying up larger private mining areas and depriving landowners of royalties and federal, state and local governments of revenues.

This moratorium comes on top of other burdensome regulations the administration has already proposed, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s new rules mandating expensive modifications for new and existing coal-fired power plants, the Stream Buffer Rule, Waters of the U.S. and other regulations. All of these regulations threaten the coal industry in North Dakota, which supports more than 4,000 direct and 17,000 indirect jobs, generates about $3 billion in economic activity and provides affordable electricity to North Dakota and surrounding states.”