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Lifting the Pause on the Issuance of New Federal Coal Leases for Thermal (Steam) Coal Environmental Assessment

May 22, 2019
By Bureau of Land Management

Allowing federal coal sales would not materially increase in the overall amount of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Approximately 40 percent of all the coal burned in the United States comes from federal leases, primarily from Western states. Over the past decade, companies have mined about 4 billion tons of coal from federal reserves.

After reviewing the applications from companies for coal leases totaling more than 2.5 billion tons of the fuel, BLM had determined the greenhouse gases  produced from burning the fuel for electricity over the next 20 years, would amount to just one percent of greenhouse gas emissions from the entire energy sector in 2017 alone.

As a result, BLM concludes: “The lifting of the coal leasing pause would not change the cumulative levels of (greenhouse gas) emissions resulting from coal leasing."