The Big Coal Royalty Dodge

A story out on Energy and Environment today is reporting that the US coal company Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE: CLD) is lobbying hard to continue to "dodge royalty payments to taxpayers and Western states."

This is according to Matt Lee-Ashley at the Center for American Progress who says that coal companies like Cloud Peak are skirting royalty rules by selling coal they mine to a subsidiary company and then reselling that coal on the export market at a higher price. 

"The coal industry is trying to defend the indefensible: Under no circumstance should coal companies be able to sell coal to their own subsidiaries to dodge royalty payments to taxpayers and Western states," Ashley said.

According to a recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, this coal royalty loophole has allowed coal companies to avoid paying a whopping $28.9 billion to US taxpayers over the last 30 years.

Photo credit: Eastcolfax on Flickr