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BLM Issues Ban on New Coal Leasing

  • EMR Subcommittee

Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced updates to Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for millions of acres of BLM-managed land in Wyoming and Montana, eliminating all new coal leasing until 2038. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:

"The Biden administration is weaponizing federal agencies to advance their radical climate agenda. They are eliminating future coal leasing in Wyoming and Montana for the next 14 years while the U.S. struggles to meet base load power requirements and hardworking families pay record-high prices for energy. Instead of supporting American jobs and energy, President Biden is barring access to the resources necessary to power homes and businesses and support thousands of good-paying jobs. It’s time for this administration to start supporting American energy and stop ignoring the all-of-the-above solutions our country has in abundance."


In response to activist litigation and a court order requiring BLM to base decisions on a climate change agenda, BLM selected the "no action" alternative regarding future coal leasing for two RMPs in Montana and Wyoming. This will remove millions of acres from consideration for future coal leasing on federal lands. Without consideration for the thousands of American miners whose livelihoods depend on access to domestic resources or the millions of Americans who rely on coal to power their daily lives, the BLM instead stated, "Reducing availability of Federal lands for coal leasing reduces the contribution of greenhouse gas emissions from the development and combustion of Federal coal."

The U.S. grid relies heavily on the domestic coal industry to meet baseload electricity demand. At a time when China permits two new coal-fired power plants per week and global coal demand remains at an all-time high, America’s coal mines and coal-fired power plants remain the cleanest in the world.