For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Caleb Heeringa, Deputy Press Secretary - Beyond Coal, caleb.heeringa@sierraclub.org, (425) 890-9744

Trump Administration Continues Climate Denial in Selling Coal From Public Lands

WASHINGTON - Yesterday the Bureau of Land Management released a new environmental review of the largest coal mine expansion in the history of federal coal leasing - Arch Coal’s Black Thunder and Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle mines in Wyoming.

A judge halted the leases and called for this new study in 2017 after ruling that BLM hadn’t been honest about the impacts that mining 2 billion tons of new coal would have on the climate crisis. But this review repeats the mistakes of the original flawed analysis, contending that mining more coal wouldn’t reduce the price of coal and lead to more climate pollution.

This is only the latest in a string of examples of the Trump Administration ignoring judicial rulings calling for a more accurate accounting of the climate pollution that comes from fossil fuel extraction on public lands. A new court-ordered analysis of BLM’s decision to reverse the Obama Administration’s pause on federal coal leasing argued that the mining more coal wouldn’t have a climate impact, drawing stern opposition from Montana’s Northern Cheyenne tribe. The agency is also currently taking public comment on a new court-ordered review of their resource management plan for 15 million acres of public land and mineral rights in Wyoming and Montana, after an earlier plan failed to consider the pros and cons of less fossil fuel extraction.

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Connie Wilbert, Director of the Wyoming Chapter of the Sierra Club, issued the following statement:

"Climate disruption is showing up in communities across the country right now, from devastating flooding in the Midwest to increasing drought and wildfire in the Mountain West. The very least that the public deserves is accurate information on how much coal leasing on land owned by the taxpayer is contributing to this crisis. We can’t keep our heads in the sand any longer."

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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