Issues and Where We Stand

Climate Change

Responsible stewardship plays an important part in how Cloud Peak Energy conducts business. From the way we operate our mines to the partnerships we establish with our neighboring communities, the company is continually striving to improve the way we operate. The health and safety of our employees and protection of the environment are overarching values that govern all our day-to-day operations.

New Regulations

Cloud Peak Energy continues to advocate for coherent federal legislation that will allow the U.S. to enjoy the long-standing benefits of safe, reliable and low-cost energy while addressing environmental concerns in an achievable time frame. As current standards ensure that coal plants have very low emissions and do not represent a health hazard, we are increasingly concerned that the “demonization” of coal by some well-funded environmental activist groups and politicians could jeopardize safe, low-cost, reliable coal-based electricity that will be needed to meet the demands of a growing economy.


Since 2007, Cloud Peak Energy’s logistics business has been delivering coal primarily to Asian utility customers from the Spring Creek Mine. Export deliveries offer a good opportunity for Cloud Peak Energy to grow our business. An integral part of that strategy is increasing terminal capacity on the West Coast. The company continues to put significant effort into the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports and Count on Coal Montana, both of which promote the benefits of increasing coal exports. We also continue to explore other Pacific Northwest terminal opportunities as part of our efforts to grow our export sales.

Coal Transportation and Dust

Cloud Peak Energy employs state of the art technologies for coal dust suppression. We ship over 80 million tons of coal each year by rail, and, in recent years, up to four million tons have been shipped to the Westshore Terminal in British Columbia through Montana, Idaho and Washington. We utilize proven, environmentally responsible technology to minimize any loss of coal or coal dust during transport, in keeping both with our environmental stewardship and good business practice.

Big Metal

On January 24, 2013, Cloud Peak Energy’s Big Metal project and the Crow Tribe of Indians signed an Exploration Agreement and an Option to Lease Agreement for up to 1.4 billion tons of in-place coal on the Crow Indian Reservation west of Spring Creek Mine. These agreements have been approved by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and provide Big Metal the opportunity to explore and define mineable coal in the southwestern portion of the Reservation and to exercise rights to lease all or portions of this coal for mining, subject to additional regulatory approvals.

Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)

A key part of our approach is advocating for federal support to further the development and commercialization of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology. This technology will need to be deployed on a massive scale in the future if society really wants to reduce CO2 emissions significantly.

Mining’s Fair Share

Royalty Valuation Rule
In January, 2015, the Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) proposed a sweeping change to the system for valuing coal, oil and gas for royalty purposes. Cloud Peak Energy opposes ONRR’s proposal to eliminate the valuation benchmarks and use an affiliate resale (or netback) approach as the only option for lessees to value coal sold to affiliated services businesses, such as Cloud Peak Energy’s logistics business. It has generated substantial revenues for Federal and state governments for many years and is subject to robust auditing and enforcement.

The coal mined by Cloud Peak Energy for domestic and export sales provides significant benefits to U.S. citizens through direct and indirect jobs, royalties and taxes and by providing low-cost electricity. Unfounded allegations aimed at discrediting a long-standing leasing process that captures significant value for the U.S., promoted by groups whose goals are to reduce U.S. coal production with little concern for the economic harm this would entail, should not be allowed to prevent additional benefits accruing to the U.S. public.

Federal Coal Program
Cloud Peak Energy Inc. submitted these comments to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management regarding the federal coal program. As a United States coal mining company with almost 100% of its current resources on federal lands in Wyoming and Montana, Cloud Peak Energy is one of the companies that would be most directly impacted by any of the proposed changes to BLM’s federal coal program.