coal mining

In Ruling on Coal Mining, Federal Judge Issues Latest Rebuke of Trump's Attack on Public Lands

Read time: 3 mins
Coal operations on federal land in Colorado

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams. Originally published on Common Dreams.

Green groups on Saturday celebrated the latest federal ruling aimed at preventing President Donald Trump from rolling back environmental regulations that were put in place by his predecessor.

Judge Brian Morris issued a ruling late Friday stating that the Interior Department broke federal law when it lifted former President Barack Obama's moratorium on coal mining in public lands.

What Terrible Injustices Are Hiding Behind American Energy Habits?

Read time: 7 mins
Wayuu woman makes soup in La Guajira, Colombia

When someone charges a cellphone or flips on the lights, what costs are felt by the far-off communities that produced the coal or gas powering that home? What happens to those same communities when a utility decides to switch from coal power to natural gas? And what keeps these impacts of American energy habits hidden from view?   

New research helps provide some clarity. A study led by Noel Healy from Salem State University in Massachusetts analyzes the hidden but interconnected injustices that can occur throughout the world’s fossil fuel supply chains.

Drilling and Mining Interests Pushed to Shrink Utah National Monuments, Documents Reveal

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Cedar Mesa Citadel Ruins at Bears Ears National Monument

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Even though Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke insisted “this is not about energy,” environmentalists and public lands advocates have long suspected the Trump administration's cuts to national monuments were driven by its push for more drilling, mining and other development.

Now, internal Interior Department documents obtained by the New York Times show that gaining access to the oilnatural gas and uranium deposits in Bears Ears and coal reserves in Grand Staircase-Escalante were indeed key reasons behind President Trump's drastic cuts to the two monuments in Utah.

Welfare Coal: These Three Coal Companies Want to Hide How Much Publicly Owned Coal They Mine

Read time: 4 mins
Coal mining in Wyoming.

By Joe Smyth, crossposted with permission from Climate Investigations Center

Earlier this year, I looked at just how much the largest U.S. coal mining companies depend on access to subsidized federal coal, most of it extracted from public lands in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. The U.S. Interior Department tracks the amount of publicly owned coal mined by each company, but doesn’t publicly report this information.

As I recently learned, even a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) might not reveal just how much publicly owned coal companies are mining.

Energy Market Tracker: Coal Industry Stock Tickers

Are you interested in tracking the market performance of fossil fuel companies? Then you've come to the right place. 
 

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) Stock Ticker (1 year)

Read time: 1 min

Banks Warned Against Financing Share Sale Of Coal India

Read time: 3 mins

The government of India still owns a majority share of Coal India Limited after selling off a 10% stake earlier this year to raise revenue. Now it’s looking to offload even more shares of the company to private investors — but critics of the company are warning that the company’s share price comes with ties to numerous unresolved environmental and human rights abuses.

Before any shares can be sold, the Indian government needs to hire someone to bring them to the market. Environmental and social justice activists have warned the banks that if they're considering doing business with Coal India, they might want to familiarize themselves with the experiences of the last banks that worked with the company.

Beer Brawl Ensues Over Threat to Shut Down Colorado Coal Mine

Read time: 2 mins
Colowyo Mine near Craig, CO
Bars, liquor stores and restaurants in the small northwest coal mining town of Craig, Colorado have started boycotting craft beers made by Colorado microbreweries that have donated even tiny amounts of cash or in-kind gifts to environmental and sustainability causes.

Environmentalists Win Federal Lawsuit Over Colorado Coal Mines

Read time: 2 mins

Environmentalists won big May 8 in a lawsuit brought against the federal government over two coal mines near the northern Colorado town of Craig. 

The nonprofit environmental group WildEarth Guardians sued the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Interior, over permits granted in 2007 to expand the coal mines, saying OSM failed to seek public input or consider impacts on the environment when it approved expanding the mines. The mines are operated by Colowyo Coal Company and Trapper Mining, Inc.  

Rejection of Colorado Coal Mine on Global Warming Grounds Could Be Game-Changer

Read time: 3 mins
A U.S. District Court judge ruled on June 27 that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service both wrongly approved expansion of the West Elk coal mine in Somerset, Colo., because they failed to take into account the economic impacts greenhouse gas emissions from the mining would have.
 
The federal agencies said it was impossible to quantify such impacts, but the court pointed out a tool is available to quantify the effects of emissions and the agencies chose to ignore it. The tool, the “social cost of carbon protocol,” puts a price on the damanges from drought, flood, storm, fire and disease caused by global warming. 
 
“It is arbitrary to offer detailed projections of a project's upside while omitting a feasible projection of the project's costs,” U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled.
 
Arch Coal, Inc. planned to bulldoze vegetation to build about six miles of roads and drill up to 48 exploratory holes in the scenic backcountry of western Colorado's North Fork Valley to vent methane and determine whether a coal seam actually lies beneath the area.
 
The federal agencies' final report on the West Elk Mine expansion listed the economic benefits of modifying public lands leases to allow the project, but failed to quantify the social or economic costs of carbon emissions from the project.  
 
The ruling could be game-changing because if the judge's reasoning holds up in other challenges to federal agency decisions, it could change the calculus on dozens of other major projects, such as the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

On 2nd Anniversary of Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, Documentary Explores Lasting Impacts of Mountaintop Removal

Read time: 2 mins

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Massey Energy Upper Big Branch mine disaster that claimed the lives of 29 coal miners.

LinkTV.org will premiere a special show tonight at 9pm EST called “Explore: West Virginia – Hillbillies, Coal Miners, Treehuggers & God,” taking a closer look at the disaster and the lasting impacts on the community of Whitesville, West Virginia.

The candid interviews with local residents discussing the many challenges posed by mountaintop removal coal mining are a great way for people unfamiliar with this issue to learn about the disaster and the larger issues firsthand.

Documentarian Charles Annenberg Weingarten does an excellent job chronicling the stories of Appalachian coal country. The half-hour documentary special takes the viewer through the heart of Appalachia to examine how the Massey mine disaster and ongoing mountaintop removal mining have affected local communities. 
 

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