Investigators for Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said in a report that the Bureau of Land Management's coal leasing program has allowed some companies to pay low rates for leases and benefit from low royalties at taxpayer cost, The New York Times reports.
In contrast to Democratic arguments that a GAO report highlights problems with the federal coal leasing program, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said the $1 billion in leasing revenue detailed in the report proves the economic necessity of the program, The Hill reports.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Congressional investigators have found problems with federal coal sales that might have cost taxpayers $200 million or more in lost revenue, a senator said Tuesday.
Citing a new report by investigators at the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., called for the sales to be suspended until the problems are rectified.
More than 40 percent of U.S. coal production — or about 450 million tons a year — comes from public lands leased by the government to mining companies under the century-old Mineral Leasing Act. Those leases bring in more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
RENO, Nev. (AP) — An assistant U.S. secretary of labor has criticized a Nevada gold mine for failing to protect its workers after federal inspectors issued more than 60 citations and orders involving health and safety violations subject to more than $200,000 in potential penalties.
A review issued Wednesday noted that Veris Gold USA Inc., owner and operator of the Jerritt Canyon mine in Elko County, didn't have to report an electrical explosion and fire that injured two employees there on Dec. 19 because inspectors for the Mining Safety and Health Administration were already on site documenting infractions.
The violations included blocked emergency escape routes, faulty pressure relief valves and improperly stored hazardous chemicals at the operation that has 120 workers about 50 miles north of Elko, the mining administration said.
NEW YORK (AP) — Martin Marietta Materials is buying Texas Industries in an all-stock deal worth $2.06 billion, creating a leading supplier of aggregates and heavy building materials with a strong presence in large, fast-growing markets like California and Texas.
Martin Marietta said Tuesday shareholders of Texas Industries will get 0.7 shares of Martin Marietta for each share held. Based on Monday's closing price, that amounts to $71.95 per share, a premium of less than 1 percent from Texas Industries' closing price of $71.54.
Martin Marietta will also assume $700 million in Texas Industries debt.
RUSTENBURG, South Africa (AP) — Tens of thousands of platinum miners in South Africa went on strike Thursday, demanding higher wages in a protest that is disrupting one of the country's major industries.
Protesters from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union sang and danced outside one mine shaft in Rustenburg, the center of major platinum operations. Some wore hard hats, and one donned a zebra mask.
South Africa is the world's leading producer of the metal, which is used in medical, electronic and other industries.
Major global mining companies have cut their investment budgets for the second year in a row, and China's relentless demand looks set to continue, which could herald price increases in precious metals, Bloomberg reports.
Environmental Protection Agency proposals to limit carbon emissions from power plants envision generating more electricity from natural gas, but to do so would require substantial improvements in infrastructure like pipelines, according to Oglethorpe Power CEO Mike Smith, Platts reports.
An effort to repeal a change in Alaska’s oil taxes -- which got companies off the hook for big surcharges -- has gone down to a narrow defeat, according to unofficial results from the state Division of Elections, Reuters reports, noting that official results won’t be posted until Sept. 2.
Oil prices have resumed slipping on strong supplies and data showing slowing Chinese factory output in August, a warning of lower demand. U.S. benchmark crude stood around 70 cents down at $92.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude dropped 90 cents to $101.38, Reuters reports.
Energy-rich states led the country in economic expansion in the last quarter of 2013, with North Dakota and Wyoming topping the list with an 8.4 percent growth rate, followed by West Virginia and Louisiana, according to data published Wednesday by the Commerce Department, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Ethanol production increased 6,000 barrels a day in the week ending Aug. 15 to 937,000 barrels a day, pushing stocks in the country up to 8.251 million barrels, according to Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, Platts reports.
Estimates of a bird burning to death every two minutes at the Ivanpah solar project are inflated, according to a spokesman for NRG Energy, which operates the facility built by BrightSource Energy and says 321 birds died there in the first half of the year, Bloomberg reports.
Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla. and the target of ads by Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate group for his positions, attended a brief meeting with scientists this week who explained their views about the threat posed by global warming, the Orlando Sentinel reports.