News

PROTECTING PUBLIC LAND: LAWSUIT AGAINST BLM TARGETS COAL LEASING PROGRAM

11/25/2014

PROTECTING PUBLIC LAND: LAWSUIT AGAINST BLM TARGETS COAL LEASING PROGRAM

11/25/2014

Friends of the Earth and the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), with the support of philanthropist Paul G. Allen and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to require the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for the federal coal leasing program. Read the full press release

"As the Government Accountability Office has documented, the Bureau of Land Management is not ensuring that the coal industry pays fair market value for coal mined on our public lands, which subsidizes coal industry profits at taxpayer expense," wrote Paul G. Allen in an article published today on the Huffington Post. "The coal industry is working to increase the export of U.S coal as its major source of growth. Exporting subsidized coal compounds the offense, benefitting coal companies, and foreign polluters -- everyone except the American people."

There has not been a comprehensive environmental review of the federal coal leasing program since 1979. Since that time, scientific evidence has established that greenhouse gases produced by coal mining and combustion endanger the public health and welfare. The BLM, however, has never analyzed the coal leasing program’s impact on climate change. The complaint argues that the results of this analysis will compel the Bureau of Land Management to deliver on its legal obligation to promote environmentally responsible management of public lands on behalf of the citizens of the United States. Read the complaintattachment 1 (McCracken Declaration), attachment 2 (Dycus Declaration).

“More than 40 percent of all the coal mined in the United States is owned by U.S. taxpayers, yet the BLM has not fulfilled its obligation to manage these resources responsibly,” said Dune Ives, co-manager of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “The American people should not have to go to court to get the government to do its job, but we need to do what’s necessary to protect our lands for future generations. We are supporting this litigation because we can’t wait three more decades to understand the environmental impact of the federal coal leasing program.”

Science & Technology

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation seeks out research and development projects that look to answer essential questions about the world around us.

Press Contact

Vulcan Corporate Communications
press@vulcan.com