Mining companies and state regulators are working on a plan to crack down on companies that illegally mine coal in California, but the plan could also create an incentive for companies to continue mining in the state, according to industry analysts.
The plan, which could take years to draft, has been in the works for more than a year and is expected to be presented to the California legislature by next week.
The state’s top coal miner, Jon Mead, is scheduled to testify on the proposal next week in Sacramento.
Mead is the executive director of the American Coal Council, an industry trade group.
“We’re seeing the state of California, and the state is the biggest coal-producing state in the nation, with over 30 percent of its electricity coming from coal,” Mead said.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how this comes out and whether it becomes a major issue in the legislative session.”
Mead said he expected the plan to “create a big incentive for coal companies to move to other states to keep mining there.”
Mining companies that are currently mining in California could be exempted from the new licensing requirements under the plan.
Mead said the mining industry would not be able to move in unless it received permission from the state.
“If it’s going on a site that’s not mine-inhabited, they can’t,” Mead told ABC News.
If it’s the state or a local county, they could just go to another county.” “
But if it is, then they can just go somewhere else.
If it’s the state or a local county, they could just go to another county.”
Mead did not comment specifically on the licensing plan, but he said he expects it to be passed in the coming weeks.
He added that the licensing will be a major win for the coal industry, because it will create an environment for new projects to be developed and for companies that currently mine in the area to be forced to move elsewhere.
Mead and other mining companies in the industry said the licensing scheme would also create incentives for companies in other states, including Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico, to keep growing their operations in California.
“What I can tell you is that, if it becomes an issue in state legislatures, it’s certainly going to impact the development of our industry,” Mead wrote in a blog post on Monday.
“I’ve been told by a number of our state officials that there’s going a lot of interest in this issue, but there’s also a lot more work to be done.”
Mead and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a coalition of industry groups, called on the legislature to approve the plan “as soon as possible.”
Mead is scheduled on Capitol Hill next week to testify before the Senate Committee on Labor, Pensions and Pensions.
“The California mining industry is growing and diversifying,” Mead stated in the blog post.
“Its time to get it right.”