Another good action and easy!

Easy & good action to BLM on Powder River Basin coal leasing

Western Organization of Resource Councils
Action Alert

Dear Jeanne,

The Bureau of Land Management is taking a new round of public comments on the climate change impact of energy development of federal lands and minerals.

The BLM needs to hear from you: please tell the agency to address climate change when deciding how much federal coal to lease.

In 2015, the BLM revised a set of “resource management plans,” which opened up massive portions of northeast Wyoming and southeast Montana to new coal development. The plans for the areas near Buffalo, Wyoming, and Miles City, Montana, cover the Powder River Basin, one of the largest recoverable coal deposits on the planet. They opened millions of acres overlying nearly 80 billion tons of publicly owned federal coal to mining companies. That’s twenty times the amount of coal that has been mined in the last decade.

Opening up so much federally owned coal cuts against any reasonable policy to avoid destabilizing the planet’s climate system. In response, WORC, with the Powder River Basin Resource Council, Northern Plains Resource Council, and other partners, sued the BLM to force the agency to reconsider how much coal to put up for sale. A federal judge decided in our favor, sending BLM back to the drawing board.

In light of the judge’s order, BLM has now proposed making a slightly smaller amount of coal available for leasing, but ignored our calls for a full review of the coal leasing program and an analysis of stopping coal leasing for the next 20 years. BLM is again taking public comments, which is where you can help.

Please tell BLM today: do not lease more coal in the Powder River Basin for the next 20 years.

The findings of a recent US Geological Survey report are stark: emissions from fossil fuels produced on federal lands accounted for 23.7 percent of national emissions of CO2 and 7.3 percent of national methane emissions in recent years. And there’s a simple explanation: the Bureau of Land Management has long ignored its role in accelerating climate change through its management of federal lands and minerals.

The BLM has also ignored its mandate to achieve a fair market value for the federal coal it leases to mining companies. A series of government watchdogs have highlighted a pattern of fire-sale prices paid for public coal. Several years of public pressure to address these problems by WORC groups and our allies finally yielded results in January, 2017.

That is when the BLM released a national report as part of a programmatic review of the federal coal leasing program, which found a significant need to modernize the program to address climate issues and ensure that taxpayers receive a fair return on publicly owned resources. Then-Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell put a pause on new federal coal leases in order to give BLM the breathing room to chart a new course on coal leasing, but Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ended the pause (and the programmatic review) soon after taking office.

The BLM has another chance to align its coal leasing policies with a fair return for taxpayer owners and the imperatives of climate change. Please join us in telling BLM to pause its irresponsible coal leasing practices today.



Executive Director


Western Organization of Resource Councils

220 S 27th St Ste B
Billings, MT 59101
United States


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Excellent action to keep what we already have!

Hi Jeanne,

This year, the Washington State Legislature took a bold step forward to protect our communities from dangerous crude oil trains by requiring oil trains to meet simple safety requirements that reduce the volatility of oil traveling through Washington. Now, the Trump administration is putting the oil industry first and trying to gut this new law.

Take action now to defend Washington’s right to protect our people and waterways.

We’ve seen the horrifying pictures of derailed tank cars, burning oil, and mushroom clouds of fire and smoke from oil train derailments. In 2013, an oil train derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, causing 47 fatalities. In 2016, a Bakken crude oil train derailed and burned in our backyard in the town of Mosier, Oregon. We have seen enough: we know oil trains are reckless.

This year, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law requiring lower vapor pressures (an indicator of volatility) for any crude oil to be loaded or unloaded in Washington. This law would reduce the risk of catastrophes like Lac-Mégantic.

Now, North Dakota and Montana, where Bakken crude oil originates, have asked a federal agency called the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to declare the Washington law invalid. PHMSA has opened a public comment period. Join us in telling PHMSA to uphold Washington’s right to protect its people and its environment from an onslaught of dangerous oil trains.

Thank you for all you do,
Dan Serres, Conservation Director | 503-890-2441
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Hood River Office: 541-387-3030 | 407 Portway Avenue Suite 301 Hood River, OR 97031
Portland Office: 503-432-8927 | 1125 SE Madison Street Suite 103A Portland, OR 97214

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This Friday, August 16th @ Chase!


Join us this Friday, August 16th 9A-10:30A at Chase Bank, corner of Orondo & Mission in Wenatchee!

JPMorgan Chase is by far the world’s worst banker of fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion — by a wide margin. It is profiting off climate chaos and human rights abuses by providing $196 billion in finance for fossil fuels.  This must stop.

We’ll have music, chalk, the big SOS banner and more.  It is certainly always my pleasure to embarrass this big, bad bank!