It’s time that Congress told us the truth about subsidies of coal production in other states. Since the time of President Ronald Reagan, the Bureau of Land Management has been selling coal leases on public lands at prices below market value in Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico at the insistence of Congress. These subsidies benefit 40 percent of our nation’s coal production while Kentucky coal receives nothing.
Consider the fundamental principle of supply and demand in free markets. Companies that can offer lower prices for the same product will boost sales and eliminate competition. Wal-mart is one of the best examples.
It appears no one in Congress wants to know how much their subsidies cost the taxpayers. The minimum bid for a coal lease on public land has remained at $100 per acre since 1982. The price would be about $250 today if inflation alone was taken into account. But the Bureau of Land Management is not even allowed to account for the market value of these leases.