The Sierra Club and Wild Earth Guardians are suing the federal government over planned coal leases in the Powder River Basin.
The BLM has approved the sale of four new coal leases in the area, which could produce up to two billion tons of coal. The Sierra Club’s Connie Wilbert says her group worries about the greenhouse gas emissions that could result from the additional mining and subsequent use of the coal.
“The federal agencies have all been clearly instructed to include analysis of climate change impacts in all of their planning documents going forward,” Wilbert said. “And we believe that the BLM simply did not do an adequate job of this in this case.”
The BLM did address climate change, when it approved the coal leases, but the agency says the leases couldn’t be blamed for greenhouse gas emissions because if the coal isn’t mined in the area in question, power plants would simply turn to other mines for their fuel.