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The Boston Globe

Politics

Inquiry sought to explain why US government is being underpaid $30 billion for coal reserves

WASHINGTON -- A Massachusetts energy think tank is urging Congress to reexamine how the government leases the nation’s coal reserves, saying that the US Treasury has lost out on nearly $30 billion in revenue over the last 30 years because the Bureau of Land Management has sold coal rights way below market value.

The report released Monday by the Cambridge-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis underscored a call by Representative Edward Markey for a review of coal leasing programs. In an April 24 letter to the US Government Accountability Office, Markey urged the GAO to conduct an investigation into how the Bureau of Land Management operates about 570 million acres of coal-rich land, much of it in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.

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