Greenpeace vs. Federal Coal Leases

by Greg Pollowitz

The Hill reports:

A report released Monday by Greenpeace said that the environmental harm from the federal government’s coal leasing program dwarfs the fees that mining companies pay, and called for a moratorium on the leases.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leases mining rights on federal property to private companies. The program has generated 2.2 billion tons of coal during the Obama administration alone.

Each ton of coal from the program costs $22 to $237 in environmental damage, Greenpeace said, a total based upon the federal government’s estimates of the social cost of carbon. But during the Obama administration, BLM has effectively sold the coal for $1.03 a ton.

“The federal coal leasing program is undermining efforts to address climate change by selling our coal at subsidized rates,” Kelly Mitchell, director of Greenpeace’s energy program, said in a statement.

“Instead of giving away our coal for one dollar a ton, Interior Secretary [Sally] Jewell should establish a moratorium on new coal leases and pursue comprehensive reform of the federal coal leasing program.”

Or BLM can find tortoises or some other animal threatened by coal mining to shut down the industry.

The rest here.