January 17, 2018 Read More →

D.C. Appeals Court to Hear Challenge to Coal-Leasing Program

The Hill:

A federal appeals court will hear a case brought by environmentalists suing the federal government over the environmental impacts of its coal-leasing program.

 The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals announced Tuesday it will hear an oral argument in March over the lawsuit, brought by the Western Organization of Resource Councils and Friends of the Earth against Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke.

 The suit [argues] that the federal government is underplaying the impact of mining coal on the land it leases. “[The Interior Department] has never seriously accounted to itself or the public regarding the climate-change contributions of a program that singlehandedly accounts for eleven percent of total U.S. carbon emissions,” the brief reads.

 In a response to the request for appeal, the defendant said, “Although the Plaintiffs’ brief, in this case, goes into great detail about the science of global climate change, plaintiffs do not challenge any substantive agency action or allege a failure to carry out.”

 The lawsuit against the Interior Department was initially dismissed by a federal court in 2015.

 More than 40 percent of the coal mined in the United States is found on federal lands, with the majority produced in the West. The Trump administration has made expanding fossil fuel mining in the U.S. an important initiative and has rolled back Obama-era regulations and moratoriums limiting the leasing of coal on federal lands.

More: D.C. Appeals Court To Hear Challenge To Coal-Leasing Program

Comments are closed.