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Posted by: thepinetree on 05/09/2017 06:19 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 05/09/2017 06:20 PM
Expires: 01/01/2022 12:00 AM

Four States Led By Washington AG Ferguson Sue Trump Administration Over Coal Leases

Olympia, WA...Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management over a program to lease coal mining rights on public land, which contributes to significant coal-train traffic through the state of Washington. The lawsuit challenges Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to restart the federal coal leasing program without supplementing or replacing its nearly 40-year-old environmental study. That decision, Ferguson argues, violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Click Above For Copy Of The Complaint!

The lawsuit, jointly filed today by California, New Mexico, New York and Washington in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, Great Falls Division, asks the court to declare that the federal government acted “arbitrarily, capriciously, contrary to law, abused their discretion, and failed to follow the procedure required by law.”

The states also seek an injunction forcing the federal government to halt the coal leasing program unless and until it completes the environmental impact review required by law.

“Taxpayers deserve to have their natural resources managed responsibly,” Ferguson said. “Responsible stewardship requires an understanding of the costs and benefits of extraction, which just months ago these same agencies admitted they simply don’t have. That’s unacceptable.”

The Bureau of Land Management is charged with managing coal resources on 570 million acres of public lands. Over the past decade, BLM-administered leases produced more than 4 billion tons of coal.

NEPA requires an agency to supplement a past Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) when there are “significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts.” Yet BLM manages federal coal based on an EIS and regulations originally adopted 38 years ago. Climate change was not fully understood at the time, and market conditions, infrastructure development, scientific understanding and national priorities were dramatically different.

The agency has a statutory obligation to fully consider the impacts of coal-leasing activities and secure a fair return from the sale of public resources. In 2013, however, the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report concluding that “BLM faces significant challenges in the areas of coal leasing and mine inspection and enforcement.” The Inspector General noted that BLM’s management practices resulted in millions of dollars in lost royalties to the federal treasury, because the agency was “not receiving the full, fair market value for the leases.”

Substantial documentation gathered by BLM last year during the previous Administration shows that, in order to uphold its obligation, BLM’s decades-old environmental analysis must be updated. The scoping process for this update began in March 2016, and the updated analysis was expected by early 2019.

With no legal justification — merely a complaint about the time and cost of complying with the law — Secretary Zinke terminated this required environmental review and restarted the federal coal leasing program on March 29, 2017.

Washington state impacts

Coal from federal leases following Zinke’s order would be transported by rail across Washington. In particular, coal from the Powder River Basin is shipped to or through the state. According to the Washington Department of Transportation, the baseline number of trains in 2015 numbered 70 per day on some track segments in the state, including multiple coal trains.

Washington has a further interest in the effects of increased coal production and consumption on climate change. Washington experiences many negative effects of climate change, including rising ambient temperatures, a diminished and unpredictable snowpack necessary for water consumption and hydropower generation, and ocean warming and acidification, which is harmful to Washington’s shellfishery.

Washington has enacted statutes and expended significant financial resources in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing the pace of climate change.

Washingtonians are concerned by and engaged in these impacts. During the scoping process for the environmental review halted by Zinke, BLM received more comments from Washington residents than any other state: 182 out of a total 1,239 individual commenters.

The AGO’s Counsel for Environmental Protection and its Ecology Division are handling the case for Washington.

Attorney General Ferguson created the Counsel for Environmental Protection in 2016 to protect our environment and the safety and health of all Washingtonians.

The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit to learn more.

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No Subject
Posted on: 2017-05-09 18:27:49   By: Anonymous
Drill Baby Drill! Just clean up your mess afterwards

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-05-09 19:35:20   By: Anonymous
    Is this administration just bent on being as irresponsible as possible about the well being of our planet? He seems to have a to total disregard for the air we (including him and his family) breathe, the water we drink and everything else about this great place we live. Every day I'm astonished at what else he can think of to turn back protections to help us all. The man needs help

    [Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-05-09 19:41:49   By: Anonymous
    Jobs baby jobs. Everybody needing jobs to feed their families and to pay their bills.

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2017-05-09 20:16:23   By: Anonymous
      Your an ignorant hillbilly fool
      The jobless rate is the lowest in 10+ years
      This prick we have for a president just cares about making the rich richer, if the environment is in the way he doesn't give a f--k
      The worst POS ever in the White House

      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2017-05-10 05:40:30   By: Anonymous
        Your an ignorant hillbilly fool
        The jobless rate is the lowest in 10+ years
        This prick we have for a president just cares about making the rich richer, if the environment is in the way he doesn't give a f--k
        The worst POS ever in the White House

        Wow, you're not very nice calling people the way Einstein, you used the word "your" an ignorant fool wrong in the sentence. A rocket scientist "you're" not there numbskull.
        By the way, guess what? Our Commander In Chief? He is "your" President. President Donald J Trump Do you get it now? your, you're AND he's YOUR President.? HA HA HA HA HA HA
        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA He's YOUR President and there's nothing you can do BUT CRY LIKE A BABY, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
        Hillary LOST HA HA HA HA HA HA
        Oh I'm sorry, I'm stooping to YOUR level please excuse second HA HA HA HA HA HA no really, I'm sorry (he he he)

        [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2017-05-09 20:37:56   By: Anonymous
      You're an idiot. These are few jobs and most of which disappear when the project is over, not unlik Keysitone. Do you actually do any research?

      [Reply ]

        Re: Keysitone.
        Posted on: 2017-05-09 22:43:58   By: Anonymous

        [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2017-05-10 11:06:47   By: Anonymous
        A job opened last night in DC, that means there is another job available in this great country.
        Trump just cant stop creating jobs.
        GOOD BY COMEY, you ignorant prick!

        [Reply ]

          Making America GREAT Again!
          Posted on: 2017-05-10 13:56:07   By: Anonymous
          Bye Bye Comey. Draining the Swamp!
          Thank you President Trump for keeping your promises.

          [Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-05-10 16:13:18   By: Anonymous
    You're all fools cause the Mob rules!!

    [Reply ]

Suing Trump
Posted on: 2017-05-09 20:52:00   By: Anonymous
Is mean.

[Reply ]

    Re: Suing Trump
    Posted on: 2017-05-09 21:15:40   By: Anonymous

    [Reply ]

      Re: Suing Trump
      Posted on: 2017-05-10 07:09:59   By: Anonymous
      F U GLOOP

      [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-05-09 21:26:46   By: Anonymous
Trump gonna make America great again..... by supporting 1800's technology.

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-05-09 22:08:17   By: Anonymous
    I want a Gattling gun.

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2017-05-10 05:29:22   By: Anonymous
      I've always preferred a belt fed weapon myself.

      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2017-05-10 09:55:07   By: Anonymous
        I want an 1800's microwave.

        [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-05-10 06:39:23   By: Anonymous
Can't we all just get along? All the democrats and republicans kiss and make up, work together for a change, " Can we, can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?"
Rodney King, was smarter then most here.

[Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-05-10 07:10:44   By: Anonymous
What would you suspect from states t hat are run by commies! Oregon and Washington have both been over run by left wing dip craps.from California, went up there to grow dope, now have overtaken Seattle, and Portland! Thank to the natives of both states and their sick of liberal Californians moving up there, and changing their states to where most of the ordinary jobs people used to make a living at are gone because of the liberal agenda, where they want it their way or the hiway! Liberals are parasites wherever they live!

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-05-10 15:11:34   By: Anonymous
    Wait, you think the "libs" have just taken over Portland and Seattle? Sir I'd suggest moving to West Virginia, working in a coal mine for like 2 years then telling us how amazing conservative life is.

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2017-05-10 22:56:47   By: Anonymous
      ^ You're poopy.

      [Reply ]

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