Should we sell farmland to coal company?

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Clark & Addison
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Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Clark & Addison » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:15 am

We have some farm ground about 4 miles from our home that was inherited about five years ago. We do not farm. We cash rent the land to family. We have been contacted by a land company interested in purchasing the land (for 200% of current market value) for a coal company to surface mine. My first thought was that we weren't interested in selling, but this comes from past discussions with family members that farm and have the never sell farm ground mentality.

I feel like the smarter financial decision would be to sell the land since we only cash rent the land and don't farm it ourselves. Below are some of the numbers that I've been running through my head. Can someone look over this to see what I'm missing in trying to make our decision? Also, if it's a bad idea to keep the land, how bad an idea is it (financially speaking)?

Land Value = $400,000 (hasn't been appraised for 5 years, but this is what I expect it would be worth)
Cash Rent = $7,000/year ($6,000 after $1,000 property taxes are paid)
Using these numbers, I figure a 1.5% return ($6k/$400k). Am I figuring this correctly?

The land company says they'll pay 200%, so I'm thinking $800,000 plus they'll pay 8.5% royalty on the coal. One family member I talked to said not to sell for 200% because land values have gone up more than that in the last 20 years in our area (doesn't mean it will continue).

If anyone has any advice, input, or other things I should be considering I'd greatly appreciate it.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:17 am

Seems the biggest uncertainty in what you just described is the actual market value of the land. I'd suggest you get an impartial land appraisal before you agree to anything. The coal company certainly does not have your best interest at heart. (ETA: when getting the appraisal, don't forget to ask about the value of mineral rights.)
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:25 am

Faulty math. You are not accounting for unrealized capital appreciation. Recall, total return is a combination of capital appreciation and income (rental, dividends). It’s highly likely your farmer relatives are right. Further, demand for coal is down. What happens if coal demand continues to decline, how will a royalty on non existing production after costs be beneficial to you? Do you have a need for immediate income? I would not rely on magical royalties- those who own gas/oil mineral rights know what I’m saying here.
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greg24
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by greg24 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am

Do you want a surface coal mine 4 miles from your house?

Glockenspiel
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Glockenspiel » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am

I wouldn't out of principle.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Nate79 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:29 am

This is two separate decisions. Should you sell and should you sell to the coal company. I believe that the market value of the land should be close to the amount that the coal company is willing to pay because anyone smart would figure out that they could buy and then immediately sell to the coal company and pocket the difference. The current income off of the current value of the land (which has risk associated with it) is less than the zero risk income you could get with just a high yield savings account.

Of course land has sentimental value so you need to decide how much that sentiment is costing you and is it worth it.

I would sell.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by onourway » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:31 am

I agree you need to get an accurate appraisal before considering the offer, but if your numbers are in the ballpark, I'd have a hard time not taking the payout unless you have reason you wish to see the land remain farmland.

$800,000 stands to bring you in ~$32,000 in yearly income (at 4% withdrawal). That's a huge increase over your number today, completely ignoring the royalties. Yes, the value of the land is not calculated into today's rent, but it's possible those same forces could work against you. Coal is an industry in decline. In 20 years the coal companies in your area may be out of business and the job market severely depressed with that loss of industry. Your land could easily be worth $200,000.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:32 am

Selling the land to the coal company is clearly the better financial decision if you can get $800,000 and royalties. Whether this meets your criteria other than pure financial criteria (loyalty to the community, land as your legacy, etc) is up to you.

Consider this- if you currently did not own any farmland, would you buy it for $800,000, and give up some royalties on top of that, so that you could rent it out for $6000 per year?

Do you have any information on the value of the royalties?
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Smorgasbord » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:35 am

How does your estimation of the land value compare with Purdue's recent state survey?
https://ag.purdue.edu/agecon/Documents/ ... _final.pdf

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:45 am

greg24 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am
Do you want a surface coal mine 4 miles from your house?
Will they still strip mine if you don’t sell, or can you stop the project by not selling?

Living next to a strip mine is something I would not do. If the project goes forward, you will want to move.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:46 am

Glockenspiel wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am
I wouldn't out of principle.
I could think of ways that would take say $100k of that $800k, or even $400k (one would presumably pay capital gains tax?) and do far more to address those concerns.

We'd have to go into forbidden areas to carry this on, but perhaps less controversially - think rainforest.

Principles are good (I have some academic background related to this) but the real ultimate principle is the good one does, not that one feels good.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by fsrph » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:47 am

You need current appraisal of your land. The coal company may offer you 200% of the value of the land but they may have a lowball apprasial number. Until you get a firm dollar number from the coal company you don't know what they are offering. But if they truly are giving you double what the land is worth I'd sell. I wouldn't count on the royalty income as being consistent as if the value of coal falls or if the location of the coal is too difficult to extract the company could just close.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Clark & Addison » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:51 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:17 am
Seems the biggest uncertainty in what you just described is the actual market value of the land. I'd suggest you get an impartial land appraisal before you agree to anything. The coal company certainly does not have your best interest at heart. (ETA: when getting the appraisal, don't forget to ask about the value of mineral rights.)
This is something that we would definitely do before making a decision.
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:25 am
Faulty math. You are not accounting for unrealized capital appreciation. Recall, total return is a combination of capital appreciation and income (rental, dividends). It’s highly likely your farmer relatives are right. Further, demand for coal is down. What happens if coal demand continues to decline, how will a royalty on non existing production after costs be beneficial to you? Do you have a need for immediate income? I would not rely on magical royalties- those who own gas/oil mineral rights know what I’m saying here.
I had thought of this, I'm just not sure how to account for the unrealized capital appreciation. This is why the family member said not to sell. I mentioned the royalty, but haven't been counting on it because I have no clue what this would be worth (I'll ask about it with the appraisal). We do not need the income today. We are 30ish years from retirement and count the farm income as part of our retirement plans. Obviously this would change if we sold.


Smorgasbord wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:35 am
How does your estimation of the land value compare with Purdue's recent state survey?
https://ag.purdue.edu/agecon/Documents/ ... _final.pdf


I haven't seen this. I'll look into it.

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TimeRunner
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by TimeRunner » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:52 am

Besides all the above, what about the neighbors adjacent to your land? Did they get an offer, are they selling, etc. It would be good for affected landowners to be on the same page IRT selling or keeping it in farmland.
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by jminv » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:59 am

I would sell the land after first verifying that your land valuation based on it's use as farmland is valid, ie, it's not worth more than the number you are thinking. Then you need to talk to a local land person about what is the normal price per acre and royalty rate for a surface mine around you. I would think 8-10%.

Before you decide to sell, you should understand how the 8.5% royalty is calculated in detail. They will provide this. Make sure that the royalty cannot be cancelled for any reason, ie, it will exist for all time. Also, I would make sure that you can sell on the royalty interest as you see fit (this could let you monetize future royalty streams now). After understanding that, the most important part of a royalty is how long until you begin receiving it. Mining companies often secure land far in advance of mining. This affects the value of the royalty.

Other things to find out before agreeing:
What is the mineable reserve of coal under your property? You need to know how many tons they plan to mine. If they don't want to give you that, ask how thick the seam is under your property and you can roughly convert to reserves.
When does the company expect to mine the coal? This matters as you will have a royalty interest which will be worth considerably less if it's years down the road.
Need to look into the permitting. Is this land company working on behalf of an active coal company or some speculative group buying up land but not an operating company? If they can't get permits, your royalty will be worthless.
Is the coal sold on long term contracts or spot market? If it's long term, what is the contracted price? Coal can sell for very different prices depending on what the type of coal. You need this to work out how much the royalty is worth.
Once they begin mining the property, how long until they mine it out? This will help you understand how many years you will receive royalty payments.

I would really engage a mineral appraiser/specialized property agent in the area who is familiar with property sales of this type and can maximize what you receive. They exist in coal country. Just keep in mind that the coal company wants to keep the amount they pay you now as low as possible and have more of the focus on the royalty, which is uncertain and in the future. You should be trying to get more money now.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Clark & Addison » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:05 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:45 am
greg24 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am
Do you want a surface coal mine 4 miles from your house?
Will they still strip mine if you don’t sell, or can you stop the project by not selling?

Living next to a strip mine is something I would not do. If the project goes forward, you will want to move.
I'm not sure if us not selling would stop the project or not. I'm also not sure how bad living 4 miles from a surface mine would be. I need to learn more about both of these questions. They could be more important to us than the financial aspect of the deal. If it's something that would affect our way of life we wouldn't be interested. We have zero interest in moving.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by jminv » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:11 pm

Clark & Addison wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:05 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:45 am
greg24 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am
Do you want a surface coal mine 4 miles from your house?
Will they still strip mine if you don’t sell, or can you stop the project by not selling?

Living next to a strip mine is something I would not do. If the project goes forward, you will want to move.
I'm not sure if us not selling would stop the project or not. I'm also not sure how bad living 4 miles from a surface mine would be. I need to learn more about both of these questions. They could be more important to us than the financial aspect of the deal. If it's something that would affect our way of life we wouldn't be interested. We have zero interest in moving.
It's not that bad. You will have increased truck traffic on local roads. Don't you already have mines in the area? You know for sure that this is a surface mine and not an underground longwall? If it's underground that's more visually pleasing but there can be land subsidence under the land that you are selling. Go and visit an area nearby with a mine and see if you care. You probably won't. This isn't mountaintop removal.

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Clark & Addison
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Clark & Addison » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:38 pm

jminv wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:11 pm
Clark & Addison wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:05 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:45 am
greg24 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am
Do you want a surface coal mine 4 miles from your house?
Will they still strip mine if you don’t sell, or can you stop the project by not selling?

Living next to a strip mine is something I would not do. If the project goes forward, you will want to move.
I'm not sure if us not selling would stop the project or not. I'm also not sure how bad living 4 miles from a surface mine would be. I need to learn more about both of these questions. They could be more important to us than the financial aspect of the deal. If it's something that would affect our way of life we wouldn't be interested. We have zero interest in moving.
It's not that bad. You will have increased truck traffic on local roads. Don't you already have mines in the area? You know for sure that this is a surface mine and not an underground longwall? If it's underground that's more visually pleasing but there can be land subsidence under the land that you are selling. Go and visit an area nearby with a mine and see if you care. You probably won't. This isn't mountaintop removal.
There are some coal mines in our county (both surface and below ground), but none as close to our house as this would be. This land is just on the other side of an interstate that the coal trucks would be using, so increased traffic in our immediate area shouldn't be an issue. If they were going to do underground mining we would sell the mineral rights and keep the farm ground. They mentioned returning the ground after they were done mining, but the reclaimed coal ground is hardly worth farming.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Ping Pong » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:39 pm

I live a few miles away from a rock quarry mine. I wouldn't even know it was there, except that it's mentioned in the local newspaper a few times a year. A small road off of a main road leads to it, and I guess dump trucks come and go.

Jordan4FI
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Jordan4FI » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:46 pm

Counter offer 300% over value and 15% royalty...

this company expects to make 20 Million or more.. so get some of that for yourself...
Last edited by Jordan4FI on Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Ben Mathew » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:53 pm

If you are able to sell your land for $800K, the expected rate of return is in the vicinity of $12,000 per year if invested in bonds at 1.5% real to $40,000 per year if in stocks at 5% real. So a net profit of $6,000/year seems very low. Betting on real land price appreciation to make up the difference seems like too big a gamble. I'd be more comfortable selling and investing in diversified index funds.

Of course, you should still check that $800K is the best you can get. Spend some time shopping around for the best offer--that's the market value.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:06 pm

You will have to pay capital gains and state income taxes.

One reason to keep it would be to avoid those via inheritance. But you could also consider a 1031 exchange.

It seems that they are making a good offer, but you might want to make sure. You could see if other coal companies are interested, or consider an auction or using a broker.

One weird thing is that they did not make an offer in dollars. They said 2 times the market value. Determining the market value requires an appraisal so you still don't know what they are offering. That kind of offer sounds a little odd to me.

I think you should get them to make a normal offer in dollars and then you can counter that. You seem to be on your way to making them an offer without knowing all the facts.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by btenny » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:15 pm

I would ask your neighbors near that farm land to tell you what they are willing to pay you for your land. The issue is what will they spend to not have a coal mine next door. You might find they are willing to pay almost as much as your current offer. Then you can make a better decision.

Good Luck.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Nestegg_User » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:16 pm

Clark & Addison wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:38 pm
jminv wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:11 pm
Clark & Addison wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:05 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:45 am
greg24 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am
Do you want a surface coal mine 4 miles from your house?
Will they still strip mine if you don’t sell, or can you stop the project by not selling?

Living next to a strip mine is something I would not do. If the project goes forward, you will want to move.
I'm not sure if us not selling would stop the project or not. I'm also not sure how bad living 4 miles from a surface mine would be. I need to learn more about both of these questions. They could be more important to us than the financial aspect of the deal. If it's something that would affect our way of life we wouldn't be interested. We have zero interest in moving.
It's not that bad. You will have increased truck traffic on local roads. Don't you already have mines in the area? You know for sure that this is a surface mine and not an underground longwall? If it's underground that's more visually pleasing but there can be land subsidence under the land that you are selling. Go and visit an area nearby with a mine and see if you care. You probably won't. This isn't mountaintop removal.
There are some coal mines in our county (both surface and below ground), but none as close to our house as this would be. This land is just on the other side of an interstate that the coal trucks would be using, so increased traffic in our immediate area shouldn't be an issue. If they were going to do underground mining we would sell the mineral rights and keep the farm ground. They mentioned returning the ground after they were done mining, but the reclaimed coal ground is hardly worth farming.
would it potentially affect your well water?
That’s a major point of contention in parts of WV where surface runoff has polluted with heavy metals or caused acidification of waters (which obviously would negatively affect any agricultural production).

you might also be able to avoid cap gains taxes by doing a 1031 exchange, but I wouldn’t do so for local property as that would still be affected by local macroeconomic conditions.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by djpeteski » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:17 pm

greg24 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am
Do you want a surface coal mine 4 miles from your house?
This +1

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by ronno2018 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:30 pm

I agree the OP should do what is best for her family (and get a lawyer to coordinate the sale with all adjacent properties), but I also agree we need to make choices that are best for the planet at this time -- and that can include using part of the proceeds to:

1. purchase carbon offsets
2. invest in a reforestation project somewhere
2. donate to organizations fighting climate change
3. donate to politicians fighting climate change
4. working with local government to change land use policy that allows the mining of coal and extracting oil and gas (after your project is approved :) ).

Good luck with your investment path. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/cam ... he_ground/

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by forgeblast » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:08 pm

I would 1. get an appraisal on the land. 2. If you are even thinking of selling contact a land lawyer. 3. Is there forest on the property, can it be logged before they mine?
There is probably a lot, I mean a lot to negotiate. The amount they will pay on top of the % of royalty, plus if there are other minerals etc. You know they are interested you might just have to do a bit of homework to get the best return on your investment.
The main thing is get a lawyer before you sell.
Good Luck!!

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:27 pm

Clark & Addison wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:15 am
One family member I talked to said not to sell for 200% because land values have gone up more than that in the last 20 years in our area (doesn't mean it will continue).
A rise to 200% value over 20 years is only 3.5% yield. Combined with rent, that would be 5% if the capital appreciation increases continue. That doesn't sound bad, but I don't think I find particularly compelling for a single asset compared to investing the same value in a stock and bonds porfolio.

We're not talking about the same value though. We're talking about a $400,000 current investment in a real estate versus an $800,000 investment in an alternative such as stocks and bonds. Or if the alternative was the simplest possible option of just sitting on the cash, we're talking about a $400,000 investment in real estate with unknown future value versus a guaranteed $800,000.

8.5% royalty sounds interesting, but that's hard to value without knowing when, if, or how much coal will actually be mined, and even then I could envision there being outs (eg - if your land ends up only serving as buffer and all the coal extraction takes place on nearby lots, would you still receive the royalty?).

Overall, selling sounds like the financially superior option even without assuming a value on the royalty, but I can't provide input on sentiment or other factors that might influence you to keep land. Also, obviously don't make any decisions without a firm price from the buyer. It's not clear what their "200%" is relative to.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:41 pm

One other thing, farmland is an uncorrelated asset. It’s value is irrespective of what equity and bond markets are doing. Large institutional investors love farmland, especially if the price is right.

The coal company is going to wreck that land if they get their hands on it. The question is why now? Why do they want that land? Is it really just for coal or is there possibly gas/oil in that county? Selling for 2x market - farm value?, commercial value?, coal mine value? Was this a fishing expedition by the landman or have they presented a firm offer? Seems like a lot of missing pieces here.
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by ponyboy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 pm

If you do sell to the coal company...be prepared to move. 4 miles isnt that far. You will have coal dust coming to your house. They'll probably mess up the water table too.

Sell and get out of dodge.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by Irisheyes » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:53 pm

ponyboy wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 pm
If you do sell to the coal company...be prepared to move. 4 miles isnt that far. You will have coal dust coming to your house. They'll probably mess up the water table too.

Sell and get out of dodge.
Um :happy , I'm guessing this is tongue in cheek and your advice to the op is not really to take the 800k and screw over the neighbors.

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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:30 pm

greg24 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am
Do you want a surface coal mine 4 miles from your house?
That's a reasonable question that comes down to knowing what the impacts are. For example, I just looked up the coal mine that was near where I lived growing up: It was more than 4 miles away from home, but roughly 3.5 miles from a park I'd visit from time to time.

I never actually knew where the mine until I mapped it out just now. Just that it was somewhere in that rough area, but it wasn't visible or audible as far as I ever experienced. This was, admittedly, a small mine covering about 7000 acres over its entire history and producing only ~$50 million worth of coal a year according to information I just looked up.

In contrast, the "green" composting facility near where I currently live in the wrong conditions is smellable a dozen+ miles away. It doesn't really bother me, but has been a source of major frustration for other residents of several cities adjacent to it for years.
Nestegg_User wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:16 pm
would it potentially affect your well water?
That’s a major point of contention in parts of WV where surface runoff has polluted with heavy metals or caused acidification of waters (which obviously would negatively affect any agricultural production).
Does any of that contamination relate to mines that opened after the implementation of the Clean Water Act? As it was phased in and expanded, the Act radically increased requirements for how industries like mining control, contain, and clean water used in operations, runoff, and percolation - even how tailings or overburden are stored is affected by the Act.
Admiral wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:00 pm
These ethics could potentially cost the OP $400K. It's much easier to stick by your ethics when they aren't so costly.

That's the thing about ethics: they matter even more when the stakes are higher.
The stakes on the carbon emissions side don't change with the original poster's land value in this case. That coal will generate the same amount of CO2 per BTU regardless of the price. In fact, the more he charges for his land, the less incentive there is to proceed with plans to buy and mine the land.

Regardless, in the US and globally, society's collective assessment of the ethics of coal use I think could be summed up as (contentiously, obviously, but this is an approximation of the status quo): it is important to mitigate the impacts of its emissions and pollution and work towards expanding use of alternatives, and significant progress is being made in that direction, but a forced rapid transition immediately off of coal would have more significant overall consequences. Bear in mind, I'm of the personal belief that the whims of society do not define what is ethical, but in this specific case, my personal conclusions about coal use align with this societal status quo of a gradual phase out, so I'm ok with suggesting this status quo is a reasonable ethical conclusion.

So with that in mind, especially noting that the original poster would not be changing their level of responsibility for demand for coal by selling, and would only be changing their level of responsibility for supply for coal indirectly, I suggest there is a perfectly reasonable ethical basis for selling his land, knowing the high bidder will likely mine there. In classical ethics analyzing degrees of "cooperation" with wrong, even if we were to conclude the use of coal was simply wrong even as an interim being phased out, I think this would classify as material, remote cooperation, therefore indirect and significantly removed from the actual act of burning it and be ethically permissible.

(NB: in this context, the concept that contrasts "material" is "formal", not "immaterial" as would be the case in conversational English)

iamlucky13
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:33 pm

ponyboy wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 pm
If you do sell to the coal company...be prepared to move. 4 miles isnt that far. You will have coal dust coming to your house. They'll probably mess up the water table too.

Sell and get out of dodge.
Your position is based on the assumption the buyer intends to and will be allowed to violate multiple federal laws.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:25 pm

I removed a number of off-topic posts. This thread has run its course and is locked (derailed, climate policy). See: Non-actionable (Trolling) Topics
If readers can't do anything with the content of a topic other than argue about it, it does not belong here. Examples include:
  • US or world economic, political, tax, health care and climate policies
  • conspiracy theories of any type
  • discussions of the crimes, shortcomings or stupidity of other people, whether they be political figures, celebrities, CEOs, Fed chairmen, subprime mortgage borrowers, lottery winners, federal "bailout" recipients, poor people, rich people, etc. Of course, you are welcome to talk about the stupid financial things you have done.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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