TMA Leads the Fight on Cost Recovery
A coalition of more than 20 Congressmen have signed onto a letter requesting that OSM provide the cost analysis information for the Proposed Cost Recovery Rule that the agency has so far refused to release to the Tennessee Mining Association.
The congressional action was spearheaded by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann's office and includes the signatures of every Tennessee Republican delegate. In addition, congressmen from Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Utah have signed on.
"The requested cost analysis information should assist TMA in evaluating how OSM formulated the pricing structure of the Cost Recovery Proposal," said Chuck Laine, TMA President. "We are very thankful to our own Representatives and those of other coal mining states for their assistance in trying to recover the information that should have already been available for public review."
The Cost Recovery Proposal was formally released in March 2013. It represents a significant increase in permitting fees and also attempts to assess fees for enforcement and inspection. Since the beginning, TMA has worked with OSM to force the release of the cost analysis so that the industry can gain insight into how the proposal will ultimately affect us. However, OSM has been steadfast in their refusal to disclose this information.
In August 2013, TMA submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to force the agency to reveal their cost analysis. The association was then told that it would cost more than $26,000 for the agency to retrieve the information requested! However, at the request of the Congressmen, OSM did release the cost analysis free of charge.
The final Cost Recovery rule was projected to be released in October 2013 but as of yet, there is no final rule .
TMA continues to closely monitor and fight this proposal and wishes to thank all of those Representatives who, like us, believe that rulemaking should be a transparent process.