Daines: BLM Review of Coal Program is Laughable

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today condemned the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) results of their laughable “comprehensive, public review” of the Nation’s federal coal program. 

“Despite my efforts to ensure Montanans’ voices were heard in a meaningful way, the Obama administration has denied their input and put forth ideas for reforms to the federal coal program that would jeopardize good-paying jobs and tax revenue that support our schools, roads and essential services for our rural communities, including the Crow Tribe,” Daines stated. “I look forward to President-elect Trump and Secretary Zinke reversing the moratorium on coal leasing, unleashing American energy and innovation and expanding high-paying energy jobs.” 

Montana has the nation’s largest estimated recoverable coal reserves.  

This moratorium and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement will put nearly 65,000 direct and indirect mining jobs at risk, as well as impact the billions of dollars in revenues to states like Montana, as well as to Indian tribes, used to pay for schools, reclamation, and other infrastructure projects. 

In a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump on December 6, Daines urged the President-elect to reverse moratorium on coal leasing. 

On July 15, Daines called on DOI to suspend its review of the federal coal program and its moratorium on new coal-lease sales.  

On June 21, Daines held a public scoping meeting in Billings to ensure that the DOI hears the voices that will be most impacted by their review of the federal coal program. Dainessubmitted 68 comments for their review.  

On May 17, 2016, Daines introduced legislation to protect Montana coal jobs from the Obama administration’s recent moratorium on new federal coal leases and ensure that states and tribes have a significant voice in any changes to federal coal, oil, gas royalties or leasing policy.