In what groups are calling another win for grassroots activism, President Obama and US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced this morning a suspension of all new mining of coal on federal public land and will discontinue issuing new permits. The two also called for a future review of the US federal coal program.
The action comes after years of leases allowing the mining of coal on public lands at record low rates.
In a statement released moments after the announcement, Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club said that it was “thanks to hundreds of thousands of activists who submitted comments, showed up at hearings, took to the streets, and called on the administration to get their fossil fuel policies in line with their commitment to act on climate, that finally changes.”
The group 350.org has announced that they intend to push for the president to also discontinue leases for the extraction of oil and natural gas saying that all fossil fuels from public lands need to stay in the ground to meet target goals set at the UN Paris Climate Summit.
Micah Parkin of 350.org Colorado spoke to KGNU in response to the announcement. She talked about how 40% of all coal burned in the US is mined on public lands which contributes to 20% of all US greenhouse gas emissions and that the public also needs to pay attention to what’s happening in Colorado:
photo: Sierra Club