Coal

The Department of the Interior is responsible for 570 million acres of federal land with coal resources. This responsibility comes from the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947, as amended.

In 2013, the United States was the world’s second largest coal producer after China. The U.S. has significant available coal reserves: There are 19.7 billion short tons of recoverable reserves in active mines, and another 479.9 billion short tons that could be mined with current technologies.

Managed and regulated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) manages some monetary transactions.

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Plan
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Lease
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Explore
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Develop
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Decommission and reclaim
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Revenue collected by the Department of the Interior

Bonus

The amount the highest bidder paid for a natural resource lease.

Rent

$3.00 per acre or a fraction thereof

Royalty

12.5%
surface
8%
subsurface

The rate depends on whether the coal was extracted by surface or subsurface mining.

Fees

$0.28 per ton
surface mining
$0.12 per ton
subsurface mining

This is the Abandoned Mine Land Fee.

Get involved

Participate in the coal leasing process.

Join a Resource Advisory Council. BLM formed Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) in the western U.S. to provide advice on managing public lands and resources. Join your local RAC.

Volunteer. Find opportunities in your area or create a BLM partnership.

Contact a local BLM office. BLM has 12 state and regional field offices, mostly in the western U.S. Find your state office for details about land-use policies in your area.

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