"Wyoming Says Its Coal Mine Cleanup Policy Is Flawed"

"A program that has allowed U.S. coal companies to forego cleanup insurance on massive western mines is flawed and needs to be fixed, Wyoming officials have told federal regulators.

Coal companies must restore the land around spent mines, but roughly $3.6 billion in liabilities could fall to taxpayers under a subsidy called 'self bonding' that allows large coal companies to go without some cleanup insurance, federal officials have warned.

Coal operator Alpha Natural Resources Inc left behind more than $670 million in self-bond liabilities in Wyoming and West Virginia when it filed for bankruptcy in August, and federal officials have asked states to explain how they will brace for such a hit."

Patrick Rucker reports for Reuters February 17, 2016.

Source: Reuters, 02/18/2016