Trump Heeds Daines Call: Ends War on Coal

Reverses Coal Leasing Moratorium, Begins to Roll Back EPA Power Plan

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement on President Donald J. Trump’s executive action to end the war on coal.

The President’s executive actions reverse the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management’s coal leasing moratorium and start halting the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. Daines was with Trump at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Headquarters for the signing of the executive action.

“By reversing the coal leasing moratorium and rescinding the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan we can unleash American energy innovation and expand high-paying energy jobs,” Daines stated. “I have confidence that this is a first step in reversing President Obama’s war on coal and the good-paying jobs it supports. Coal Keeps the Lights On.” 

Clean Power Plan: 

A University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research study found the Clean Power Plan would lead to the biggest economic disaster in Montana in 30 years—including the closure of the Colstrip plant, the reduction of over 7,000 jobs, and more than a $1.5 billion loss in economic output—all for a “negligible” impact on the environment according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). No commercially available technology can achieve the Clean Power Plan’s required level of emissions at a coal plant, and certainly not by the EPA-mandated timeline for compliance. Montana would be forced to restructure its energy economy accordingly and jeopardize the grid’s reliability while doing so. Whether through executive action or through Congress, the United States should unleash American innovation by incentivizing clean coal technology instead of wiping the industry out of business. 

Coal Leasing: 

Secretarial Order 3338 imposed a moratorium on federal coal leasing, paused ongoing lease applications and modification reviews, and launched a programmatic review of the federal coal leasing program, including overhauling the leasing process and changing royalty rates. This moratorium and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement would have put nearly 65,000 direct and indirect mining jobs at risk, as well as impact the billions of dollars in revenues to states.


On January 11, Daines issued a condemnation of BLM’s results of their laughable “comprehensive, public review” of the Nation’s federal coal program. 

On December 6, 2016 Daines urged President Trump to reverse moratorium on coal leasing.

On June 21, 2016 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. Daines submitted 68 comments for their review.

On July 15, 2016 Daines called on DOI to suspend its review of the federal coal program and its moratorium on new coal-lease sales. 

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.