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Environment & Energy Report

Judge Turns Back Trump’s Restart of Federal Coal Leasing (1)

April 22, 2019, 11:46 AMUpdated: April 22, 2019, 6:40 PM

A federal judge overturned the Trump administration’s bid to restart the sale of coal on federal land.

The April 19 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana found that when the Interior Department called off the Obama-era moratorium on federal coal leasing, it undertook a “major federal action” that required a full environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act.

But the decision doesn’t definitively end Interior’s quest to lease more federal coal. Rather, Judge Brian Morris told the states and environmental groups that brought the lawsuit to work with Interior to...

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