INACCURATE ESTIMATES OF WESTERN COAL RESERVES SHOULD BE CORRECTED

An accurate estimate of coal under Federal lease, and information on lessee development plans is essential for supporting coal leasing policy decisions. Better estimates are needed to relate Interior leasing with the administration's goal of increasing domestic coal production. Interior's recoverable reserve estimates are based on general recovery factors--not detailed, current economic analysis; using unreliable estimates in enforcing laws would produce inadequate production controls, increase the chances for speculative holdings, and be against the public interest. Wide variations existed between Interior and leaseholder estimates; leaseholder estimates were generally supported better. But many leaseholder estimates were incomplete because they did not consider all underground coal. GAO considers neither Interior nor leaseholders estimates accurate or reliable. No coal was produced before 1977 on most Federal leases; about 212 million tons may be produced annually by 1985.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 63 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00185866
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: EMD-78-32 Cong Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1979 12:00AM