GR: Obama tries again to help out the fossil-fuel industry. This time he’s working for coal. It is unlikely that he believes this will benefit anyone except the coal company. Maybe he is hoping an energy corp will give him a cushy job when he leaves DC.
Roadless Rule Loophole Could Cause Vast Carbon Pollution, Undermine Obama Administration Climate Goals
DENVER, Colo.— “A U.S. Forest Service plan released today proposes to reopen a gaping loophole in the Colorado Roadless Rule that would allow Arch Coal to expand coal mining across about 20,000 acres of pristine, high-country forest and crucial wildlife habitat in western Colorado. Tens of thousands of people have urged the Obama administration to abandon the plan because of its threats to the climate and public lands.
“If enacted, the decision would result in the mining of 172 million tons of coal over 17 years and at least 443 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Opening pristine backcountry for coal mining in the face of a global climate crisis is dangerously backward public policy,” said Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Instead of setting the table for Trump’s dirty energy agenda, Obama should nix this plan on his way out the door.”
“Today’s environmental analysis is the latest in a long series of decisions affecting coal mining in the West Elks. Originally protected from tree-cutting and road-building by the Forest Service’s 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, the Sunset Trail and Pilot Knob roadless areas again came under threat from mining in 2012 when the Forest Service approved a Colorado-specific roadless rule allowing new coal mine methane drainage pads in the area.
“The loophole was thrown out by the U.S. District Court of Colorado in 2014 because the Forest Service failed to consider the climate change impacts of millions of tons of federal coal, which could result in more than half a billion tons of carbon pollution from mining and burning the coal.
“The Sunset Trail and Pilot Knob roadless areas threatened by new methane drainage pads for expansion of Arch Coal’s West Elk Mine are home to spectacular aspen groves and mountain vistas, black bears, beaver ponds, rare and sensitive amphibians and watersheds supporting endangered native fish.
“Today’s announcement flies in the face of the United States’ commitment in the Paris Climate Accord to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Recent studies have shown that the greenhouse gas pollution that would result from developing fossil fuels beyond those already under production is incompatible with that goal.” Source: Obama Kicks Off Trump’s Dirty Energy Agenda by Moving to Open Colorado Roadless Forest to Climate-destroying Coal