WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today introduced an amendment (#5418) to H.R.5376, the Democrats’ reconciliation bill, that would require the Secretary of Interior to complete pending metallurgical and thermal coal lease applications in an effort to unleash domestic energy sources and lower infrastructure costs in light of the nation’s poor economic conditions.
“Following the second straight quarter of decline in our economy, the Biden Administration should prioritize initiatives that lower infrastructure costs and increase domestic energy development – and one way to do that is to expeditiously issue pending coal leases to applicants. We cannot continue to block the mining of our own essential energy sources and building materials. The American people are hurting, and it’s our responsibility to help. My amendment will increase energy production, support thousands of jobs, and alleviate the effects of record-high inflation. I urge my Senate colleagues to stand with our coal miners by voting in favor of this amendment.”
The amendment would require the Secretary of Interior to complete pending Lease by Application processes for both metallurgical and thermal coal through the Bureau of Land Management’s Lease by Application program no more than 60 days after the enactment of the legislation. The mining of metallurgical and thermal coal is essential to the success of the U.S. economy and provides thousands of jobs nationwide. Due to a pause by the Biden Administration, the Bureau of Land Management’s Lease by Application Program is currently frozen for all federal coal leases.