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Mining Legislation News
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ACC Op-Ed: Is Coal Making a Comeback?                 

By Betsy Monseu, CEO
American Coal Council

There is no question that the future is brighter for our nation’s coal industry.

Changes in policy, regulations and markets are contributing to a stronger domestic coal industry. The U.S. economy is growing again. Global economic activity is increasing. The business prospects of other countries that use our coal for electricity, steel-making and other industrial purposes are better. U.S. coal exports are up a whopping 70 percent year-to-date through September 2017.

Some new U.S. coal mines have opened and others are expanding, adding good jobs and tax revenue for states and localities. According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, year-to-date 2017 U.S. coal production has increased by about 8 percent over 2016. Coal-mining employment is trending similarly. It has risen every quarter of 2017, and was up 7 percent for the most recent period, per analysis by S&P Global Coal Market Intelligence.

The path for coal’s comeback is driven by President Donald Trump’s dramatically different vision for the development and use of our nation’s energy resources. These riches are seen as a strength, not something to be kept in the ground. They are viewed as a means to achieve energy independence and provide energy security. The energy policy differences between the current administration and the prior one are most striking when it comes to coal, which the United States has more of than any other country.


Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke Statement on Sage Grouse Report

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke received a report from the DOI Sage-Grouse Review Team (DOI Team) regarding possible plan and policy modifications to complement state efforts to improve Greater Sage-Grouse conservation and economic development on public lands. The report is the final product required by Secretarial Order 3353 “Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States” issued June 7, 2017.

"I'm thankful to all of the DOI team members as well as the bureau staff and the state partners who put in the hard work and time to develop this report," said Secretary Zinke. "I've directed Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt to begin implementation of the recommendations and to direct the Bureau of Land Management, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other offices in the Department, to immediately follow through on the short- and long-term recommendations."

In addition to officials from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Forest Service, representatives from 11 states that have sage-grouse habitat were involved in the creation of the document.

​Secretarial Order 3353 aims to improve sage-grouse conservation and strengthen communication and collaboration between states and the federal government. Together, the federal government and the states are working to conserve and protect sage-grouse and their habitat while also ensuring conservation efforts do not impede local economic opportunities.

In signing Secretarial Order 3353, Secretary Zinke established an internal review team that, among other things, evaluated both federal sage-grouse plans and state plans and programs to ensure they are complementary and explored possible plan modifications local economic growth and job creation in mind.​

Memo On Sage Grouse Plans -- SO3353 Cover Memo from BLM
SO3353 Rinal Report

House ENR Subcommittee Hosts Hardrock Mining Oversight Hearing

(National Mining Association, July 2017) The House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources held an oversight hearing entitled, "Seeking Innovative Solutions for the Future of Hardrock Mining." The hearing covered a broad range of issues including mine permitting, Good Samaritan, CERCLA and royalty rates for hardrock mining. Mitch Krebs, president and CEO of NMA-member Coeur Mining, gave the panel a comprehensive overview of impediments to hardrock mining. “Our country’s permitting process is tied with Burkina Faso for the title of ‘the world’s longest mining process’, at approximately 7-10 years,” he said. Coeur’s Kensington Gold Mine in Alaska required 19 years before all relevant permits were approved, Krebs said. “If it takes this long to start getting your money back on an investment, you’re not generating a competitive, let alone a positive, rate of return.”

In addition to Krebs, witnesses included Jim Cress (counsel with the Bryan Cave Law Firm), Bret Parke (deputy director of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality), and Murray Hitzman (USGS associate director for energy and minerals). Lauren Pagel (policy director for Earthworks) testified on behalf of the minority.

Open Comments

Department of Interior has launched a full effort to solicit feedback on all DOI agency regulations that should be modified.  The comment period is ongoing:

In addition, each DOI agency has an open comment portal.  Below are those agencies pertinent to mining:


Office of Surface Mining and Regulatory Enforcement

National Park Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

United States Geological Survey

In addition to DOI,

National Marine Fisheries Service and NOAA have the same call for comments:

WMC Submits comments on CERCLA 108(b) Financial Assurance


The Southern Arizona Business Coalition

has a couple of very interesting videos about women in mining in the early days of mining. Check it out at:

Women in Mining and Aggregates:
17 Leaders to Follow

Firmatek has published a list of women who are currently shaping the mining and aggregates industries with their knowledge, skills and hard work. 7 of 17 women mentioned are WMC members!

WMC Files Comments on the Sage Brush Grouse Focal Area Withdrawal DEIS.

See the letter

Women’s Mining Coalition at SME in Denver!

Ruth Carraher presented information about the Women's Mining Coalition at the SME Media Room.

See the Presentation here. Hear what Ruth said here.

WMC members participate in Nevada Mineral Exploration Coalition’s Exploration Day at the Nevada Legislature

Minerals and Metals Help Improve our
National Security

February 3, 2017

Recently, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) introduced the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2017” in the Senate and House, respectively. In doing so, they highlighted the important role that minerals play in our national security. Read more at National Mining Association

Alaska Miners Association Applauds Disapproval of Anti-Coal Rule

(Anchorage, Alaska) - For the first time in many years, the coal mining industry scored a major victory this week.  Thursday, U.S. Senate passed H.J. Res. 38, the Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval annulling the Obama administration's anti-coal mining regulation which they had labeled the "stream protection rule." The rule, however, had nothing to do with protecting streams, but was yet another attempt by the former administration to end coal mining in America.  The U.S House passed the measure Wednesday. More

WMC Longtime Member MARY KORPI Nominated as Distinguished Nevadan

See article

WMC received the

2016 Prazen Living Legend of Mining Award

at the National Mining Hall of Fame
and Museum Banquet

September 24, 2016
Every year, the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum (NMHF&M) selects an individual or entity that has demonstrated ongoing, innovative work educating the public, policy makers, educators, or related institutions about the importance of the mineral and mining industry to our everyday lives.  MORE

See Congratulations Certificate from Nevada Gov Sandoval

WMC At NMHF Banquet

WMC Receiving Prazen award
Kathy Benedetto, Ruth Carraher and Debra Struhsacker
receiving the Prazen Living Legend Award at the National Mining Hall of Fame
Banquet, September 24, 2016.

Watch the video that introduced WMC