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GILLETTE, Wyo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE:CLD), one of the largest U.S. coal producers and the only pure-play Powder River Basin (“PRB”) coal company, today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of the Interior announcement of a review of the Federal coal program and a moratorium on new federal coal leases until the review is completed.
“We are disappointed that after a robust set of ‘listening sessions’ on the coal leasing program last summer in which thousands of people across the West, from working class Americans to Governors, very clearly explained how important the coal leasing program is to their well-being and communities, sadly the administration has chosen to pander to special interest groups whose stated goal is to shut down the U.S. coal industry,” said Colin Marshall, Cloud Peak Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Indeed these special interest groups who spoke against the current leasing system stated their objective was not to improve it but to ensure the coal was never mined. The current leasing system provides significant benefit to American taxpayers and is not broken. We believe this review process is not warranted and is aimed at delaying leases to ensure the coal is never mined, denying its economic benefits to the nation. Cloud Peak Energy paid $354 million in taxes and royalties to federal, state, and local governments in 2014. For the same year, we paid an additional $69 million for leases for future production. In the same year, our net income was only $79 million. We urge Western lawmakers at the state and Congressional level to ensure a timely and legitimate review process by the Department of the Interior. We do not believe this announcement will have any immediate impact on our operations, and we will continue serving our customers to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity for our nation. We have a strong coal reserve position, in addition to our Youngs Creek and Big Metal projects which are non-federal coal and not impacted by today’s announcement.”
Coal produced in the PRB is world-class, with deep consistent seams, low-sulfur and low-ash contents. PRB coal has helped America achieve significant reductions in sulfur-dioxide emissions while still generating the affordable electricity we all need.
In addition, federal coal is an important federal resource. It generates significant government revenue that pays for essential services. Since 2002, Wyoming coal production has generated more than $19 billion in tax revenue. Eliminating this revenue stream would lead to higher deficits and additional taxes elsewhere in our economy. As the country comes out of a deep and long recession, now is not the time to raise electricity costs and cut an important source of revenue.
About Cloud Peak Energy®
Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE:CLD) is headquartered in Wyoming and is one of the largest U.S. coal producers and the only pure-play Powder River Basin coal company. As one of the safest coal producers in the nation, Cloud Peak Energy mines low sulfur, subbituminous coal and provides logistics supply services. The Company owns and operates three surface coal mines in the PRB, the lowest cost major coal producing region in the nation. The Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines are located in Wyoming and the Spring Creek Mine is located in Montana. In 2014, Cloud Peak Energy shipped approximately 86 million tons from its three mines to customers located throughout the U.S. and around the world. Cloud Peak Energy also owns rights to substantial undeveloped coal and complimentary surface assets in the Northern PRB, further building the Company’s long-term position to serve Asian export and domestic customers. With approximately 1,600 total employees, the Company is widely recognized for its exemplary performance in its safety and environmental programs. Cloud Peak Energy is a sustainable fuel supplier for approximately four percent of the nation’s electricity.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts and often contain words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “estimate,” “seek,” “could,” “should,” “intend,” “potential,” or words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs as well as assumptions and estimates regarding our company, industry, economic conditions, government regulations, energy policies and other factors. Forward-looking statements include the potential impact of the regulatory matters discussed herein on our existing or future operations and financial results, our coal reserve position and other statements regarding our plans, strategies, prospects and expectations concerning our business, industry, economic conditions, operating results, financial condition and other matters that do not relate strictly to historical facts. These statements are subject to significant risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict and could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including the timing, outcome and impact of the regulatory matters discussed herein and other factors. For a discussion of some of the additional factors that could adversely affect our future results, refer to the risk factors described from time to time in the reports and registration statements we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including those in Item 1A - Risk Factors in our most recent Form 10-K and any updates thereto in our Forms 10-Q and current reports on Forms 8-K. There may be other risks and uncertainties that are not currently known to us or that we currently believe are not material. We make forward-looking statements based on currently available information, and we assume no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any obligation to, update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements made in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.