WASHINGTON (AP) – The Interior Department has scrapped an Obama-era rule aimed at ensuring that coal companies don’t shortchange taxpayers on huge volumes of coal extracted from public lands, primarily in the West.
The Trump administration put the rule on hold in February after mining companies challenged it in federal court. Officials later announced plans to repeal the rule entirely. The final repeal notice was published Monday in the Federal Register and takes effect Sept. 6.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says repeal provides “a clean slate” to create workable regulations going forward. He said Interior remains committed to collecting every dollar due, noting that public lands are assets belonging to taxpayers and Native American tribes.
Still, Zinke says repealing the rule will reduce costs that energy companies would otherwise pass on to consumers.