Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Coal River Energy, LLC v. Jewell

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20107
Nos. 13-5119, (D.C. Cir., 05/13/2014)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed as untimely a coal mine operator’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a DOI regulation requiring coal mine operators to pay a fee for each ton of coal they produce by mining. The regulation requires mine operators to pay the reclamation fee when the coal is ultimately sold or used, rather than immediately after the coal is removed from the ground. Because the Export Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that “No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any state,” the operator argued that the regulation could not be constitutionally applied to coal sold for export. But SMCRA §526 explicitly provides that all challenges to regulations promulgated under the Act must be brought within 60 days of a rule’s promulgation. Although the coal mine at issue in this case was not yet in existence when the regulation was promulgated, §526 still applies. The court, therefore, affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the case.