Denver Federal Appeals Court Hands Victory to Environmentalists Fighting Coal Leases


A Denver federal appeals court ruling has caused the Trump administration to reconsider how it approaches its review of greenhouse gas emissions in dealing with coal leases.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Bureau of Land Management had not adequately considered the emissions from four large coal leases in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. It was considered a major victory for environmentalists who for years had fought to block federal coal leases.

The ruling by the 10th Circuit will require the BLM to provide more data to support its argument that coal makes no net contribution to climate change according to a report in the Denver Post.

“This is big,” Jeremy Nichols with WildEarth Guardians told the post. “And we’re certainly going to be wielding this and using it to confront other mining approvals both in the Powder River Basin and beyond.”

His group and the Sierra Club had filed suit to block the leases in question, leases that would have allowed mining to continue at the Black Thunder and North Antelope Rochelle mine. They are in the Powder River Basin where open-pit mines supply an estimated 40 percent of the nation’s coal.


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