Statement on Biden administration plan to stop future coal leasing in Powder River Basin

May 16, 2024

DENVER—The Bureau of Land Management today released draft resource management plans (RMPs) for two field offices in Wyoming and Montana. The plans would block any future coal lease sales across the Buffalo and Miles City field offices, while allowing existing coal mining to continue. The BLM estimates that federal coal mining in Wyoming would continue through 2041, and through 2060 at Montana’s Rosebud mine.

The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Deputy Director Aaron Weiss:

“America’s energy future cannot include coal leasing. The only way to address the climate crisis is to transition to a renewable energy economy, and America’s public lands are at the center of that transition. We’re thankful to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning, and all of the hard-working scientists and land managers who prepared these management plans.”

Today’s revised management plans replace Trump-era plans that were struck down by the courts in 2022. The court ordered the Biden administration to take into account the effect of greenhouse gases and pollution from future coal production, and to consider alternatives that reduced or eliminated coal leasing.

Featured image: A coal mine in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, BLM Wyoming