US Climate and Health Alliance

To Protect Climate, Public Health, Americans Call for End to Federal Coal Program: Ending Public Coal Leasing, Mining Would Keep 212 Million Tons of Carbon in Ground, Save $7 Trillion


WASHINGTON— A coalition of groups today called on President Obama to permanently end the federal coal program, highlighting the fact that ending leasing and mining of public coal in the United States would keep up to 212 billion metric tons of carbon pollution in the ground — the equivalent of taking nearly 50 billion cars off the road and saving society more than $7 trillion in avoided climate damages.“If we have any chance of avoiding the worst consequences of global warming, we have to move away from fossil fuels,” said Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians’ climate and energy program director. “This shift starts with reining in the mining of our publicly owned coal and helping coal-dependent communities transition to more prosperous and sustainable economies.”The new figures were part of detailed comments submitted today at the close of the public scoping period for the comprehensive review and potential reform of the federal coal-leasing program. In response to mounting controversy, including the climate impacts from burning coal, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell kicked off the reform process in January, announcing a temporary moratorium on new leasing and the initiation of a full environmental review of the federal coal program. While the review is underway, Jewell has ordered a pause in significant new coal-leasing decisions on public lands.

Resource Type
Position paper/statement
Center for Biological Diversity
Resource URL
July 28, 2016
Organization Type
Health and Human Impact
Respiratory disease
Climate and Environmental Impact
Air pollution
Climate mitigation/GHG reduction
Advocacy US policy Policy United states

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