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Interior Department to Investigate Coal Exports

Feb 11, 2013
(The Hill)

The Interior Department will investigate whether mining companies are gaming the federal government by skirting royalty payments, a pair of senior senators announced Friday.

The agency is looking into whether mining firms lowball the value of coal excavated from federal lands to minimize the fees they pay the government.

"The Department shares your concern that this matter should be taken seriously and be thoroughly investigated to determine if there is any merit to the allegations contained in the December 4, 2012, Reuters articles referenced in your letter," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar wrote in a letter Thursday to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).