Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Court rejects greens’ climate case against federal coal mining

The Hill reported that a federal appeals court on 19 June rejected environmentalists’ arguments that the Trump administration has to evaluate the climate change impact of leasing federal land for coal mining. The three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously ruled that the Interior Department is not obligated to update its 1979 review of the environmental impact of the federal coal program, despite substantial new scientific findings about climate change and the significant role that coal plays in warming the atmosphere. The judges said that the National Environmental Policy Act doesn’t compel a new environmental impact statement. Mr Harry Edwards Judge, nominated to the court by former President Carter, wrote in the ruling that “The fact that actions continue to occur in compliance with the program does not render the original action incomplete. Accordingly, the department’s NEPA obligation for the Federal Coal Management Program terminated with its adoption in 1979.” The judges further argued that NEPA only requires a new analysis when a program is new or changes significantly, which isn’t the case for the coal program...MORE

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