Judge: Less Mining Must Be Studied For No. 1 U.S. Coal Region
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has ruled U.S. government officials engaged in regional planning for an area that supplies 40 percent of the nation's coal must consider reducing coal mining to fight climate change.
Friday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls, Montana, applies to the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.
Morris rejected U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials' argument that climate change could be addressed during evaluations of plans for individual mine expansions.
The judge told the government and environmental groups to work together on additional planning for the top U.S. coal producing region.
Environmentalists praised the ruling but Morris denied their request to halt mining.
Land management bureau officials and coal industry representatives did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.