Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Put an End to Coal Mining on Public Lands

Climate
Help Put an End to Coal Mining on Public Lands

This land is our land—it's a promise as American as the Constitution. But for decades, Big Coal has treated our public lands as their land, destroying pristine wilderness areas to mine the dirty coal driving climate change.

Between 2009 and 2014, companies mined enough coal on public lands to put more than 3.9 billion metric tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere. That's the equivalent emissions of more than 825 million cars on the road—every year. In January, though, we had a major climate win: the U.S. Department of the Interior put a temporary freeze on leasing our public lands for coal mining (called a moratorium). But that could change soon, unless we act.

What Makes the Coal Moratorium a Big Deal?

Right now, nearly 40 percent of U.S. coal comes from our public lands. Burning all kinds of fossil fuels is detrimental for our climate, but coal is public enemy number one: When coal is burned for energy, it creates more carbon dioxide per unit than any other fossil fuel. It's dirty and dangerous.The bottom line? When we lease our federal lands for coal, we're fueling climate change. That's why we need the Department of the Interior to end coal leasing on federal lands—permanently. We need to put the planet—and people—above big polluter profits.

In 2015, something incredible happened: 195 nations agreed to fight climate change and keep global temperature rise well below 2 C (and pursue efforts to hold the rise below 1.5 C). The U.S. promised to do its part, with a commitment to reduce emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.Federal initiatives like the Clean Power Plan and methane regulations on oil and gas already being rolled out around the country will get us part of the way there, but these aren't enough alone. If we're serious about fulfilling our promises and building a clean energy future, we have to keep coal in the ground where it belongs. And it starts with ending coal mining on our public lands—permanently.

Stand Up to Big Polluters Today!

The Department of the Interior pressed pause on coal leases, but it's time to hit stop altogether. Ending coal leases on federal land will help guarantee that we live up to our promises from Paris and sends a strong message to Big Polluters–this is our land, our climate and our future. And we demand a say.Add your name and tell the Department of the Interior you support permanently ending coal leases on our public lands—for our health, for the health of future generations and for the sake of the the planet.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Extreme Heat to Sear Southwest, Plains: Phoenix Could Approach 120 Degrees

Exxon Sues Massachusetts Attorney General to Block Climate Fraud Investigation

Stockholm Divests From Coal, Oil and Gas

Court Documents Show Peabody Energy Funded Dozens of Climate Denial Groups

Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
Trending
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less