A day after President Donald Trump “took a wrecking ball to U.S. action on climate change” with an executive order that included lifting his predecessor’s pause on new federal coal leases, a coalition of groups has filed a legal challenge to stop the widespread damage the rescission would bring about.
Opening public lands to coal leasing, say the groups, which include Citizens for Clean Energy, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife, serves only to fatten the coffers of coal executives, rip off taxpayers, befoul the air and water, threaten wildlife, and fuel climate change.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Earthjustice.
The pause, which the Obama administration put in place in 2016, was to conduct a review of the program to ensure that it offers “a fair return to taxpayers and reflect its impacts on the environment.”
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