Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces Legislation to Assist Coal Communities and Close Coal Royalty Loophole
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today joined with his colleagues to re-introduce the Coal Royalty Fairness and Communities Investment Act, a bill that would provide $70 million for former coal communities to help strengthen their economies, diversify industries, and promote new job creation opportunities.
Communities across America that were built around the extraction and transportation of natural resources often struggled as the economy and many industries changed. For regions that for decades relied on the coal industry, significant decreases in demand for coal power generation has negatively impacted our communities.
The legislation pays for the investments by closing loopholes in the federal coal royalty payment system. Currently, by selling to their own subsidiaries at below market rates, coal companies often cut corners and avoid paying fair royalty costs on coal extracted from federal land.
“I’m proud to support this legislation that ensures American taxpayers get the coal royalty payments they are entitled to,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Additionally, this bill drives needed investment into coal communities here in Ohio. We owe it to our hard-working communities to help diversify our economies and grow additional high-paying jobs.”
This bill is cosponsored by U.S. Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08), Jared Huffman (D-CA-02), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), and Seth Moulton (D-MA-06).
The Coal Royalty Fairness and Communities Investment Act would:
- Amend the value of federal coal for purposes of royalties by creating a coal price index
- Establish a Coal Area Economic Revitalization Fund
- Establish a federal and economic workforce development assistance program
- Appropriate $5 million in funding to the Secretary of Energy for large-scale projects to capture and store carbon dioxide from industrial sources
This legislation is endorsed by The Mountain Pact, Center for American Progress, and Appalachian Voices.
"Coal is mined at a heavy cost to land, water, and nearby communities, and coal companies should compensate the public for these damages," said Erin Savage, Senior Program Manager for Appalachian Voices.
Text of the legislation can be viewed HERE.