Sign the Petition to

Mr. Neil Kornze, Director of the US Bureau of Land Management

I’m writing today to express the absolute necessity that the current moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands be made permanent. Selling many leases to mine coal at below-market rates artificially lowers prices, thereby encouraging more consumption of a fuel that is the nation’s top source of CO2. That’s precisely the opposite of what we should be doing at a time when the future of our environment and our climate is threatened.

Last year, the United States made a commitment in Paris to do our part to prevent the worst effects of global climate change. Burning coal makes up a third of global CO2 emissions and is one of, if not the largest contributor to climate change. In order to hold up our end of the deal and prevent the global average temperature from rising above one and a half or two degrees Celsius, the federal coal leasing program must be reformed and the moratorium on new leases must be made permanent.

In addition to its climate impacts, mining, transporting, burning, and disposing of the products of coal combustion all place human health at risk. Coal contributes to four of the top five causes of mortality in the US—heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory diseases.

To make matters worse, American taxpayers are propping up the dirty coal that is polluting our climate and negatively impacting our health. According to independent nonprofit research group Headwaters Economics, and cited by Harvard researchers, reforming the coal leasing program would have generated $900 million to $5.6 billion more revenue between 2008 and 2012. And that math doesn’t even take into consideration the social costs of the climate change and health impacts of burning coal. Including those costs, the 522,443,982 metric tons of CO2 emitted by the top three US coal mining companies in 2014 alone amounts to $18,807,983,352 ($18.8 billion) in damages to society, using the federal government’s mid-range social cost of carbon figures.

The smog, acid rain, toxic air pollution, and catastrophic climate impacts that accompany coal are anything but a fair deal for the American tax payer, and I urge you to make the moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands permanent.

Signed,

The Climate Reality Project

This petition closed over 1 year ago

How this will help

Earlier this year, the US Department of the Interior announced that it will temporarily stop leasing federal land to coal developers while it studies fossil fuels' impact on the environment. But...

Earlier this year, the US Department of the Interior announced that it will temporarily stop leasing federal land to coal developers while it studies fossil fuels' impact on the environment. But we need the Department of the Interior to end coal mining on our public lands permanently, preventing the release of billions of tons of carbon pollution into the air.

Tell Department of the Interior you support permanently ending coal mining on our public lands. Ending coal mining will help ensure the US lives up to its commitments in the Paris Agreement, showing the world that we're serious about cutting emissions and shifting to clean, renewable energy. When nations like India, China, and others see we're serious, they step up too and the whole world moves forward together.

Last year, 195 countries promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change through the Paris Agreement. Now it's time to keep our promise and leave dirty coal where it belongs: in the ground. The Paris Agreement opened a door to a safe and sustainable future for our planet. Ending the dark days of coal here in the US is the first step through it. And it couldn't be a more important one.

Add your name today and tell the Department of the Interior you support permanently ending coal mining on our public lands.


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