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Press Release

Administration Officials Forced to Answer for Anti-Mining Policies

  • EMR Subcommittee

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on the Fiscal Year 2025 budget requests for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) issued the following statement in response:

"It is concerning that under the Biden Administration, the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement and United States Geological Survey are not functioning as they should. Not only has this hindered coal production on federal, state, and private lands, but it has also prevented the domestic development of the mineral resources necessary for our way of life. I was grateful for the chance to question these Administration officials on their anti-mining and anti-energy policies and will continue to work with my colleagues on the Subcommittee to ensure these agencies begin to act in accordance with their mission."


USGS provides scientific research data for agencies within the Department of the Interior (DOI), other federal agencies and members of the public. The data supports land management decisions, natural disaster preparation and response and energy and mineral development. USGS is also responsible for publishing and updating the critical minerals list every three years. However, USGS’s lack of forecasting metrics as a part of determining which substances are placed on the critical minerals list provides an incomplete assessment of projected supply and demand changes.

Federal coal mining and associated mine reclamation is regulated by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 and overseen by OSMRE. OSMRE is also the primary regulator of coal mining operations in the United States. Last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) selected the “no action” alternatives regarding future coal leasing for two Resource Management Plans of Montana and Wyoming—a decision that removes millions of acres from consideration of future coal leasing. This leasing ban will result in significantly reduced revenues to the Abandoned Mine Land Trust Fund. OSMRE must account for how it will adjust for the loss of revenue from the U.S.’s largest coal producing region.

Today's hearing was a chance for members to hear from the USGS director and OSMRE principal deputy director and conduct oversight of the agencies’ actions and proposed budgets. To learn more, click here.