Daines Demands Biden Admin Withdraw Plan to Shut Down Future Coal Production in Eastern Montana

U.S. Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to President Biden’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) demanding the withdrawal of the amendments to the Miles City and Buffalo new Resource Management Plans that would stop future coal leases in eastern Montana and Wyoming.

“I am strongly opposed to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed amendments to the Miles City Field Office and Buffalo Field Office Resource Management Plans (RMPs) and urge you to withdraw them. President Biden has made clear that he opposes coal mining and coal- fired energy generation regardless of the cost to rural America and electric reliability. The proposed moratorium on new federal coal leasing in Montana and Wyoming will destroy jobs in these rural states and harm our nation’s energy security,” Daines wrote.

“Since coal production is a major economic driver in Montana and Wyoming, the proposed amendments will also damage the economies in these states. BLM’s own analysis on these two proposed amendments acknowledges that ending coal leasing means foregoing thousands of potential mining jobs and a significant revenue stream to the states. This revenue from the

federal coal leases is used by the states and counties to support schools, repair roads, and provide essential services to rural communities. Losing these jobs and revenue will have a damaging effect on these states’ economies,” Daines continued.

Read Daines’ full letter HERE.

The Powder River Basin is the largest source of coal in the country, making up 45 percent of all production, which is essential for grid reliability as demand for electricity grows. Additionally, coal jobs support rural economies and bring revenue to Montana counties. In 2021, the Montana coal industry contributed 6,138 direct and indirect jobs and generated approximately $828 million in total contributions to state gross domestic product.

Daines issued a statement slamming the Biden administration after the proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment was released.