(U.S. Congress) — Today U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Congressmen Ryan Zinke and Matt Rosendale sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland urging her to appeal the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent ruling that undermines Made-in-Montana energy and Montana jobs.
“On February 10, 2023, the Montana District Court ruled against a long-standing Environmental Assessment which authorized Signal Peak Energy to mine federal, leased coal at the Bull Mountains Mine near Roundup, MT. If this ruling is not appealed and ultimately reversed, it will jeopardize high-paying local jobs, lead to economic harm in Montana and lost federal royalties, as well as further threaten our national security by limiting made in Montana energy,” the letter reads.
“The United States remains the world leader in mining practices and environmental standards. This ruling threatens to cut dozens of energy related jobs and harm local communities dependent on this vital Montana mine. We urge the Department of the Interior to appeal the ruling, remain in line with the regulatory practices from President Obama’s administration, and defend the continued mining by Signal Peak for the sake of Montanan and national security,” the letter continues.
To read the full letter Senator Daines, Congressman Zinke and Congressman Rosendale sent Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, click HERE.
The United States District Court of Montana sided with green groups’ motion to vacate the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s environmental assessment supporting the approval of Signal Peak’s expansion of its Bull Mountain coal mine, ruling against a longstanding Environmental Assessment. Signal Peak leased this coal during the Obama administration and the DOI has defended the NEPA documents prepared by the OSMRE.
Current projections indicate that this will leave 5 million tons of federal coal in the ground, resulting in $20 million in lost federal royalties and $120 million in lost revenue for Montana. This is the latest example of fringe groups litigating vital energy projects into the ground.
Matt Lloyd (Daines)
Colton Snedecor (Zinke)
Grace Davis (Rosendale)