Immediately after the announcement by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar about four new coal leases in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, Governor Matt Mead offered these comments on the importance of the energy industry.
To provide a little bit of back ground on Salazar's announcement: The Bureau of Land Management will hold four competitive lease sales in coming months, offering Powder River Basin tracts in Wyoming that contain an estimated 758 million tons of low sulfur coal. The total bonus bids and royalty payments over the life of these leases are estimated to generate $13.4 to $21.3 billion, 48 percent of which would go to the State of Wyoming.
In addition, in coming months BLM expects to announce the availability of records of decision for the South Porcupine, North Porcupine, North Hilight and West Hilight coal sale tracts in the Wyoming portion of the Powder River Basin. Combined, these tracts cover 13,965.75 acres containing an estimated 1.6 billion tons of mineable coal.