New Mine Expansion Nothing but a Trump Bailout of the Coal Industry

This week, WildEarth Guardians, the Sierra Club, and Center for Biological Diversity pushed back against Peabody’s plans to expand its massive Caballo coal mine in the Powder River Basin of northeast Wyoming.

In comments to the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, we called on the agency to reject Peabody’s demands, defend the climate, and start keeping coal in the ground in the Powder River Basin.

The Powder River Basin of northeast Wyoming and southeast Montana is the largest coal producing region in the U.S. It’s a root contributor to global warming and for many years now, we’ve been fighting hard to keep coal in the ground here.

Peabody’s latest plan calls for mining nearly 120 million more tons of coal and operating the Caballo mine until the 2050’s. If approved, nearly 200 million metric tons of carbon would be unleashed as this coal is burned.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas equivalency calculator, that equals the amount of carbon released every year by more than 42 million cars.

Incredibly, the proposal comes even as demand for Powder River Basin coal continues to decline.

Just last year, Peabody actually relinquished several thousand acres of federal coal leases and even withdrew an application for a new coal lease in the Powder River Basin.

And recent reports indicate Powder River Basin coal production continues to reach new lows.

That’s why in our comments, we called on the Office of Surface Mining to reject Peabody’s demands and instead focus on helping communities transition to more sustainable and prosperous economies.

Federal agencies as well as policymakers need to focus on accelerating the phase out of coal by 2030 or sooner…

– Comments on Caballo coal mine expansion

Unfortunately, the Trump Administration seems bent on bailing out coal companies, not on helping communities.

For our climate, we need to keep our coal in the ground. However, as we keep our coal in the ground, we also need a just transition from fossil fuels.

Our goal is to achieve both.

Jeremy Nichols

About the Author

Jeremy Nichols | Climate and Energy Program Director, WildEarth Guardians

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