DISMANTLING ENERGY: Biden administration to halt future coal leasing in Powder River Basin
05/23/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

The administration of President Joe Biden is set to end all future coal leasing in a significant portion of the Powder River Basin, a coal-rich region spanning Wyoming and Montana.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced on May 16 its plan to ban future leasing in this area. The Powder River Basin produced about 43 percent of U.S. coal in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The BLM's final plan, considering various options including maintaining current levels or limiting future leasing, chose the “no leasing” proposal. This decision means "no BLM-administered coal [will be] available for leasing within the planning area," according to the final impact statement.

Environmental groups praised the move, saying it will keep the approximately six billion tons of coal reserves located in the Powder River Basin in the ground. (Related: ENERGY SUICIDE: G7 nations forge plan to shut down ALL coal-fired power plants between 2030 and 2035; electricity costs to sharply increase.)

Jeremy Nichols, a senior advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, commented: "This is what true leadership on climate and energy looks like. I applaud the Interior Department for prioritizing clean, affordable energy that protects our climate for future generations."

But Biden's decision also drew criticisms. "President Biden continues to wage war on Wyoming’s coal communities and families. This short-sighted plan will kill future coal leases in Wyoming's Powder River Basin – the most energy-rich area in the country. This will kill jobs and could cost Wyoming hundreds of millions of dollars used to pay for public schools, roads, and other essential services in our communities," said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).

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Since taking office in 2021, the Biden administration has aggressively regulated coal use as part of its broader climate agenda. At the 2023 United Nations climate summit, the administration committed to not building any new coal-fired power plants and to phasing out existing ones.

Biden going against courts that allowed coal leasing

This decision follows a previous attempt by former President Barack Obama to impose a moratorium on coal leasing in the Powder River Basin, which a federal court overturned in February.

Last February, a federal appellate court ruled in favor of the mining sector, overturning a lower court decision that had halted new coal leases on public lands.

The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unsigned memorandum, vacated the 2022 ruling that reinstated an Obama-era moratorium on most new coal leasing applications.

The case debated whether the administration of former President Donald Trump was required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to study the environmental impacts of resuming federal coal leasing. In 2016, then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell imposed a moratorium on new federal coal leases as part of a broader review. Her successor, Ryan Zinke, rescinded this moratorium in 2017, but many projects struggled due to weak market demand.

Environmental groups, some states and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana sued, arguing that Zinke’s action violated NEPA. In 2022, a federal judge ruled to keep the moratorium until the Biden administration completed a NEPA analysis, which the BLM started last year.

However, the 9th Circuit found that District Judge Brian Morris lacked the authority to issue the opinion since the Biden administration revoked Zinke's order in 2021, making the coal leasing moratorium legally non-existent.

"Nothing about the Zinke Order can be changed through further NEPA analysis when the Zinke Order is legally non-existent," the court stated. The court also noted that dissatisfaction with the federal government’s position does not justify challenging a defunct order.

Taylor McKinnon, Southwest director for the Center for Biological Diversity, criticized the decision, saying it could lead to increased coal leasing at a time when a shift to clean energy is crucial.

Watch this clip from InfoWars with Alex Jones reacting to the news that Biden is shutting down coal-fired power plants in the United States.

This video is from the InfoWars channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

The Great Reset: Biden administration implements new costs for oil and gas drilling on public lands.

If Biden’s green plans don’t come to pass, he could declare a “climate emergency” and seize covid pandemic-like dictatorial powers.

Many countries investing in nuclear energy generation while America LANGUISHES in pursuit of less capable renewables.

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