Monday, March 21, 2016

Greens Challenge Feds Over Fossil Fuel Plans

The federal government has fast-tracked approval of a dramatic escalation of mining and drilling activity on 6.6 million acres of virgin land in Montana and Wyoming, conservationists claim in court. In a complaint filed Tuesday in the Great Falls, Mont. Federal Court, the Western Organization of Resource Councils and others claim the Bureau of Land Management failed to exercise appropriate due diligence before approving resource management plans allowing for 18,000 new oil and gas well in the two states, as well as the mining of more than 100 billion tons of coal. The plaintiffs claim by doing so that agency failed to adequately consider the affects of fossil fuel production on the environment. "Together, the contiguous Miles City and Buffalo planning areas compose the northern and southern portions of a broader region known as the Powder River Basin, an area of stark beauty with rolling grasslands, badlands, abundant wildlife and remote wilderness," according to a 45-page complaint. The area, however, is also one of the nation's most prolific energy producing regions, the Powder River Basin accounting for almost 40 percent of all domestic coal production, and 1 to 1.3 percent of natural gas and oil production in the U.S...more

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