GAO report finds inconsistency in coal leases on federal land

The federal government could be missing out on millions of dollars in coal revenues due to inconsistent leasing practices, the Government Accountability Office said in a report that was released on Tuesday.

The Bureau of Land Management has issued 107 coal leases since January 1990, the report said. But the agency accepted bids that were lower than fair market value and did not always document why, according to the GAO.

Some BLM offices are failing to follow appraisal guidelines and there isn't always an independent review of appraisals, the report added. A dollar amount wasn't cited by the GAO but the leases bring in more than $1 billion in annual revenue to the government.

Get the Story:
Government Said to Undervalue Coal Leases (The New York Times 2/5)
Government Accountability Office: BLM coal leasing program out of date (The Casper Star-Tribune 2/5)
Senator: US Coal Sales Might Have Cost Taxpayers (AP 2/4)

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report:
BLM Could Enhance Appraisal Process, More Explicitly Consider Coal Exports, and Provide More Public Information (December 18, 2013)

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