Coal River Energy, LLC v. Jewell, et al., No. 13-5119 (D.C. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Appellant, a coal mine operator, filed suit against the Secretary, challenging a Department of the Interior regulation requiring mine operators to pay a reclamation fee when the coal is ultimately sold or used, rather than immediately after the coal is removed from the ground. Appellant argued that the regulation could not be constitutionally applied to coal sold for export because the Export Clause of the Constitution states that "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any state." U.S. Const. Art. I. 9, cl.5. Section 1276 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, 30 U.S.C. 1276(a)(1) explicitly provides that all challenges to regulations promulgated under the Act must be brought within sixty days of a rule's promulgation. The court concluded that section 1276 was applicable in this case and the court agreed with the district court that appellant's challenge was untimely. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.