57% of Wyoming residents and 65% of Montana residents support making changes to the outdated federal coal program, according to new poll results released by Western Values Project.
The failing coal program has not been reviewed in 40 years. Under the current program, coal executives are exploiting loopholes to sell coal at cut-rate prices. Coal mined on public land is sold at cut-rate prices and miners lose their jobs while CEOs get bigger bonus checks.
Today, the Department of the Interior held a public meeting in Casper, Wyoming – the first of a series considering potential reforms of the federal coal program.
Large numbers of Montana and Wyoming residents agree that it is time to modernize our federal coal program and ensure energy development on public lands continues in a way that protects taxpayers and our public lands. The guidelines governing coal mining on public lands haven’t been reviewed in over a generation and majorities in both states want to see this program updated for the 21st century.
The poll also found that a majority of Montana residents and a plurality of Wyoming residents say that reforms are necessary to make sure that taxpayers get a fair deal.
A plurality in Wyoming and a majority in Montana also believe that a review of the federal coal program will help protect public lands, streams and wildlife.