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Coal and Public Lands in the western U. S. - Federally owned coal in the West
How much coal is owned and administered by the Federal Government
Deriving estimates using a Geographic Information System (GIS)
Federal Coal areas have a profound effect on land-management decisions:
Regulatory agencies attempt to balance energy development with alternative land-use and environmental concerns.
Federally managed coal areas are studied:
Assessment provides analysis of deposits that are likely to be developed over the next 20 years. Other studies will determine coal quality characteristics and coal availability for development.
Federal Lands GIS database:
The GIS database used in Energy Resource Assessments by USGS is being developed in cooperation with the BLM.
See Open-File Report 98-102, Land Status and Federal Mineral Ownership in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana: a Digital Data Set for Geographic Information Systems
The assessment integrates information:
Data on public land status and minerals owned by the Federal Government are combined with geologic information on coal resources.
Assessment of coal tonnage is characterized:
The assessment is relative to many parameters including surface and mineral management status.
Estimates Using National Scale Data:
Approximately 60 percent of the area underlain by coal-bearing rocks in the conterminous United States are under Federal surface. Coal produced from Federal leases has tripled from about 12 percent of the total U.S. production in 1976 to almost 34 percent in 1995 (Energy Information Administration website) http://www.eia.doe.gov/fuelcoal.html "Data on U.S. coal production, imports/exports, quality, receipts, number of mines, prices, consumption, distribution, stocks, coal quality, emissions, productivity, employment, productive capacity, and recoverable reserves".