Western Caucus Members Blast BLM’s Coal Leasing Restrictions in Montana and Wyoming

Washington, May 16, 2024 | Eli Mansour (202 510-8612)
Tags: Energy
Today, Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Vice Chairs  Bruce Westerman (AR-04) and Ryan Zinke (MT-01), Representatives Matt Rosendale (MT-02) and Representative Harriet Hageman (WY-AL) released the following statements on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) resource management plans (RMP) for Montana and Wyoming. These RMPs remove millions of acres of Federal lands from consideration of future coal leasing through 2038.
“Time and again, the Biden Administration has picked winners and losers in American energy instead of using a common sense all-of-the-above approach,” said Chairman Newhouse. “Today’s new coal leasing restrictions on millions of acres of Federal lands in Montana and Wyoming are an attack on an affordable and reliable energy source that will create hardships in rural communities across the west. This is the latest example of Biden’s Bureaucrats intentionally reducing the reliability of the West’s power supply while increasing energy costs for already struggling families and it should be rescinded immediately."
“The Biden administration is weaponizing federal agencies to advance their radical climate agenda,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Westerman. “They are eliminating future coal leasing in Wyoming and Montana for the next 14 years while the U.S. struggles to meet base load power requirements and hardworking families pay record-high prices for energy. Instead of supporting American jobs and energy, President Biden is barring access to the resources necessary to power homes and businesses and support thousands of good-paying jobs. It’s time for this administration to start supporting American energy and stop ignoring the all-of-the-above solutions our country has in abundance.”
“This is another punitive targeted attack on Montana and will result in higher energy prices and lower energy security for Montanans,” said Vice Chair Zinke. “The United States has more coal than any other nation on Earth and the Crow Tribe relies on mining their clean coal and selling it around the world. We have the technology and expertise to mine it in a way that balances environmental stewardship and resource production.  Coal provides jobs for thousands of Montanans and provides reliable energy to our power grid and can be sustainably mined for generations to come. Our goal should be expanding energy production in America, where we do it the cleanest, safest and the cheapest rather than bending the knee to environmental extremists.”
“America lost more energy independence today due to a stroke of a pen by the Biden administration,” said Rep. Rosendale. “This decision whose sole intent is to appease climate extremists is an insult to the men, women, and children of Montana who depend on coal to power their homes, keep food on their table, and maintain our Montana way of life. BLM either does not understand or does not care that their unreliable green new deal energy sources are not feasible in places like Montana and pose real threats to our economy and national security.”
“Joe Biden’s never-ending war on the West continues, this time by enacting an RMP that will destroy the Wyoming coal industry,” said Rep. Hageman. “This outrageous decision will actually increase pollution by forcing energy users to buy coal from countries with poor environmental standards instead of clean American coal. It impacts 12 of Wyoming’s active coal mines and will put 48 billion short-tons of BLM-administered federal coal off limits for mining – and it will cost our country jobs and increase the cost of energy, further driving our citizens into energy poverty. The only way to permanently end the Biden Administration’s war on affordable and reliable energy is to end his presidency in November.”
The Montana RMP can be found here. The Wyoming RMP can be found here.

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