The chief executive of the national trade association representing the U.S. coal industry recently told a congressional panel that the federal program funded by the coal industry to help clean up old abandoned coal mines has been plagued by an inefficient structure and lax management leading to billions of dollars spent for other purposes.

“Of the almost $11 billion that the coal industry has paid into the Abandoned Mine Lands fund since its inception in 1977, only $2.8 billion of the $8.5 billion spent to date from the fund has resulted in the reclamation of priority coal abandoned mine sites,” said National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn.

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