Interior Department Announces Series of Public Listening Sessions on Federal Coal Program

Office of the Secretary

Bureau of Land Management seeking information to help ensure fair return to American taxpayers and improved stewardship of coal resources

Last edited 6/23/2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host a series of listening sessions on the federal coal program. The discussions will seek information from the public about how the BLM can best carry out its responsibility to ensure that American taxpayers receive a fair return on the coal resources managed by the federal government on their behalf.

Jewell first called for a dialogue on the issue in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies earlier this year.

“As I’ve said, it’s important to have an honest and open conversation about modernizing the federal government’s coal program,” said Jewell. “I have heard many concerns about how the federal government leases coal, the amount of royalty charged and whether taxpayers are getting a fair return from public resources. These listening sessions are an opportunity to better understand how taxpayers, stakeholders and local communities perceive the federal government’s coal program today and how we can improve and strengthen it for future generations.”

The BLM will host listening sessions in Washington, D.C., Colorado, New Mexico, Montana and Wyoming designed to further robust discussions about reforms to the federal coal program, including potentially raising the royalty rate applied. The BLM currently manages 310 active coal leases covering about 475,000 acres in 10 states. Roughly 40 percent of the coal produced in the United States comes from federal coal resources.

Additional information on the listening sessions follows:

  • July 29, 2015, 1:00-4:00 pm EST. Washington, D.C.: South Interior Building Auditorium, 1951 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20245
  • August 11, 2015, 1:00-4:00 pm MST. Billings, MT: Hampton Inn, Lewis and Clark Conference Center, 5110 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101
  • August 13, 2015, 1:00-4:00 pm MST. Gillette, WY: Campbell County Library, 2101 4-J Road, Gillette, WY 82718
  • August 18, 2015, 1:00 -4:00 pm MST. Denver, Colorado: Marriott Denver West, 1717 Denver West Blvd, Golden, CO 80401
  • August 20, 2015, 1:00-4:00 pm MST. Farmington, NM: Courtyard Marriott, 560 Scott Avenue, Farmington, NM 87401

The meetings in Washington, D.C. and Denver will have a Livestream option for people to participate remotely. The meetings can be accessed at