U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced yesterday that the BLM will host a series of listening sessions on the federal coal program. The discussions will seek information from the public about how the BLM can best carry out its responsibility to ensure that American taxpayers receive a fair return on the coal resources managed by the federal government on their behalf. The BLM will host listening sessions in Washington, D.C., Denver, New Mexico, Montana and Wyoming to talk about reforms to the federal coal program, including potentially raising the royalty rate applied. The BLM currently manages 310 active coal leases covering about 475,000 acres in 10 states. Roughly 40 percent of the coal produced in the United States comes from federal coal resources. While it’s disappointing that the Colorado meeting won’t take place anywhere near a coal mining community, the meetings will be streamed live on the BLM’s website. The Denver meeting will be held August 18th from 1 to 4 at the Courtyard Mariott in Golden.