The Obama administration announces plans to halt new coal mining leases on federal land until it completes a review of fees. The administration wants to ensure that those fees secure a fair price for the mining rights and that the fees charged reflect the environmental costs of coal mining and use. Coal mining companies at present pay a $3 fee for each acre of federal land leased and a royalty on the sale price of strip-mined coal. The rate was set in 1976. 40% of coal mined in the US is mined on federal land.
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