WASHINGTON Jan 4 The U.S. Department of the
Interior said on Friday that it will tighten oversight of how
companies pay federal royalties on certain coal exports after
senior lawmakers called for a probe into the matter.
"Coal resources on federal lands are assets that belong to
all Americans and the Department is committed to collecting
every dollar due per provisions of existing law," Patrick
Etchart, a spokesman for the Office of Natural Resources
Revenue, an agency of the Interior Department, said in a
Earlier on Friday Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, the incoming
chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,
and the panel's leading Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski, said
they were concerned that coal companies may be shorting royalty
payments and called for officials to investigate.