Quantcast

Groups Call for Moratorium on Powder River Coal in Letter to New Interior Secretary Jewell

Energy

Greenpeace

The leaders of 21 organizations welcomed Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to her first day on the job with a letter calling for “an immediate moratorium on new coal leasing in the Powder River Basin and a comprehensive review of the federal coal leasing program.”

The letter emphasizes the huge quantities of carbon pollution unlocked by federal coal leasing in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana, and how that is undermining President Obama’s climate commitment and record:

Between 2011-2012, BLM leased over 2.1 billion tons of coal in the Powder River Basin, unlocking nearly 3.5 billion metric tons of CO2 that will be released when this coal is burned. In comparison, EPA's newest passenger vehicle emissions standards will reduce an estimated 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of cars made from 2017-2025.

The letter also points to growing controversy over the federal coal leasing program in the Powder River Basin. The Government Accountability Office and the Department of Interior’s Inspector General are investigating the federal coal leasing program because of concerns that it has amounted to a major taxpayer subsidy to coal mining companies. Those concerns have intensified as coal mining companies hope to export increased quantities of federally owned coal, which is supposed to be managed “in the best interests of the nation.”
 
Groups signing the letter include national environmental, health and consumer rights organizations, along with community organizations concerned about coal export proposals in Oregon and Washington and the impacts of strip mining coal in Wyoming and Montana.

The organizations involved in the letter, include: 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Energy Action, Climate Solutions, Coloradans for Fair Rates and Clean Energy, CREDO, Earthjustice, Environment America, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, North Sound Baykeeper, Northern Plains Resource Council, Powder River Basin Resource Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Citizen, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council, Western Organization of Resource Councils and WildEarth Guardians.

——–

Click here to tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More
Sponsored

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More