Mineral Resources:

Interior's Actions on Three Coal Leases

RCED-87-193: Published: Sep 30, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) proposal to suspend a portion of a firm's coal leases to encourage the firm's compliance with a law prohibiting a firm and its affiliates from obtaining additional onshore federal mineral leases if the firm is not producing coal from a lease within a certain time frame.

GAO found that: (1) BLM and the firm disagreed over the amount of recoverable reserves BLM should count to establish the leases' coal production requirements; (2) the firm and its parent company appealed the BLM determination, hoping to reduce it to a level that would ensure compliance; (3) the BLM proposal contained an alternative to improve the likelihood of compliance; (4) since the firm did not request that BLM act on its proposal, BLM took no action; and (5) the firm and its parent company have appealed the determination.

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