Sen. Mike EnziMike EnziGOP blocks slate of Obama judicial nominees Overnight Finance: New rules proposed to curb Wall Street pay GOP senator tries to tie 'No budget, no pay' to funding bill MORE (R-Wyo.) said Tuesday that a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report shows his “anti-coal” colleagues that coal is needed to generate federal revenue.
“Some of my anti-coal colleagues requested a report on the coal leasing program and when the report showed that each year it adds around $1 billion to the treasury, the coal opponents concentrated on misleading people into thinking the program is not competitive,” Enzi said.
But Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyNew House caucus will help keep hackers out of cars Overnight Tech: Email privacy bill gets its day FDA should ban powdered caffeine, Dems say MORE (D-Mass.) interpreted the report differently, saying it proved coal lease sales in Wyoming and Montana were using "noncompetitive practices" that could be cheating taxpayers out of more revenue. Markey called for a temporary suspension of new sales of coal rights until the shortcomings identified in the GAO report are addressed.
“These noncompetitive practices are costing taxpayers in Massachusetts and across the nation, benefitting just a few coal companies who may be leasing public coal resources at bargain basement prices,” Markey said Tuesday. “Taxpayers are likely losing out so that coal companies can reap a windfall and export that coal overseas where it is burned, worsening climate change."
Enzi said lawmakers could better spend their time, rather than “propagating a misinformation campaign” about the energy source that is abundant in his state.
“I’m proud of Wyoming and our coal,” Enzi said. “Without it, some of our friends on the coasts would be experiencing a lot higher energy prices than they are now and there would be more people looking for work.”
Republicans have accused President Obama and Democrats of waging a “War on Coal.” Last year, the administration announced that it would place carbon emission limits on newly constructed coal power plants. Scientists have said carbon emissions contribute to air pollution and global climate change.