COAL position

COAL:  Action to oppose the granting of eminent domain for, and the construction of, a coal slurry pipeline through Maryland. (1986) Action to support the collection of taxes and fees from the coal industry for costs to the public resulting from the mining of Maryland coal. (1987) Action to oppose strip mining on slopes steeper than 20 degrees. (1993)

Support for:

  1. Holding the coal industry responsible for the payment of costs to the public resulting from its operation.
  2. Use of the per-ton severance tax and the current system of impact/reclamation fees as the sources of revenues to cover these costs.
  3. Continuation of the Maryland coal tax.
Opposition to:
  1. The use of the personal property tax for surface mined coal because of the difficulty in enforcement and collection.
  2. Strip mining on slopes steeper than 20 degrees.
 
Background: Despite the local nature of coal mining operations, legislation affecting the coal industry must be passed at the state level; hence the need was seen by the League for a state study and positions. The initial study, adopted at the 1985 LWVMD Convention, led to the adoption of the first two positions. Opposition to steep slope strip mining was adopted by concurrence with an Allegany County LWV position at the 1993 LWVMD Convention.
 
Action
  • Supported an updated and strengthened Surface Mining Act of 1975 to increase the responsibility of mining companies for returning land to safe and productive condition after mining, to subject the mineral resources portions of local comprehensive plans to review by the Department of Natural Resources, and to assert the need for balancing surface mining against other possible land uses and potential human and environmental effects. (1993 – achieved)
  • Supported amendments to a bill which would have relaxed some requirements concerning strip mining – the amended bill restricts mining on slopes of 20 degrees or more. (1995 – achieved)