Climate & Energy

Our world is warming, with dire consequences to the American West’s communities, lands, rivers, and wildlife.

As Coal Collapses, Groups Appeal 25-year Extension of Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine (News Release 4/20/16)

Suit Seeks Renewable Energy Transition Alternatives

Amid crumbling coal economics and surging renewable energy growth, Navajo, regional and national conservation groups filed suit today in Arizona’s federal district court challenging the U.S. government’s 25-year extension of coal operations at Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine. The approval, which allows coal mining and combustion through 2041, lacked any assessment of clean energy alternatives.

In Wake of WA Climate Rule Withdrawal, Youth Petitioners Return to Court (Press Release 4/6/16)

Ordered to Act With Urgency, Ecology Responds With More Delays

Late yesterday, the youth petitioners in a precedent-setting case over climate disruption in Washington state asked the court to step in yet again after the state Department of Ecology withdrew its proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions. By withdrawing the proposed rule, Ecology demonstrated it is unable or unwilling to fulfill its legal responsibilities absent a court order directing it to do so in a timely manner.  

BLM Defers Fracking Around New Mexico’s Sacred Chaco Canyon for Third Time (Press Release 3/22/16)

3/22/2016
Rampant Drilling in the San Juan Basin Continues to Threaten Public Health, the Climate, Clean Air and Water

UPDATE: BLM has admitted an internal mix-up on this issue. The leases are not yet deferred, and we can expect a news release from the agency on or around May 5.

 

Court Rejects Water Pollution Permit for Rosebud Coal Mine (Press Release 3/18/16)

Yesterday the Montana First Judicial District Court ruled in favor of water quality and reinforced the state of Montana’s obligation to protect waterways from pollution caused by coal mining. The court rejected a water pollution discharge permit that would have allowed the Rosebud Mine to dump toxic heavy metals and other harmful pollutants into state waters without limits. Western Energy Company’s Rosebud Mine is the second largest strip mine in Montana. It supplies about 12 million tons of coal per year to the Colstrip Power Plant, in Colstrip, Montana.

Citizen Groups Challenge Plans to Green Light Huge Fossil Fuel Development in Powder River Basin (Press Release 3/15/16)

3/15/2016
BLM Plans Span 10 Million Acres, 81 Billion Tons of Coal

A plan to keep open vast amounts of public land in Montana and Wyoming for fossil fuel development and drilling is short-sighted and fails to consider dramatic changes in energy markets that make such thinking both obsolete and financially risky, a coalition of conservation groups contend in a lawsuit filed today.

Canada climate deal will multiply effects of existing U.S. plans to curb methane (Press Release 3/10/16)

3/10/2016
Reductions will protect health, landscapes, rural communities, and taxpayers

Today's announcement of a climate pact between the U.S. and Canada is great news for public health, landscape health, rural communities, the climate, and more. With Canada's agreement to reduce methane pollution from its oil and gas industry by 40-45 percent over the next 10 years, the Obama administration has leveraged its leadership on methane to multiply the effects of efforts already underway here in the U.S.

State of Washington Delays Action on Climate Change – Again (Press Release 3/2/16)

3/02/2016
Department of Ecology Abandons Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rule

On Friday, Feb. 26, the Washington Department of Ecology withdrew its proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions in the state. The rule was supposed to remedy a lawsuit brought by eight youth petitioners against the state of Washington, in which Judge Hollis R. Hill declared "[the youths’] very survival depends upon the will of their elders to act now, decisively and unequivocally, to stem the tide of global warming…before doing so becomes first too costly and then too late."

BLM methane rule an important step for NM, nation (Press Release 1/22/16)

Reductions will benefit climate, improve health, reduce waste, and generate revenue

The Bureau of Land Management today released for public comment a proposed rule to rein in out-of-control methane waste on federal lands by the oil and gas industry. BLM is required to minimize the waste of publicly owned resources like methane, and we applaud the agency for taking a proactive approach to addressing this national problem that disproportionately impacts New Mexico.

Report: State regulations allow rampant natural gas waste (Press Release 1/13/16)

1/13/2016
Strong BLM rule needed to prevent resource waste, protect public health, royalties, environment

Today, the Western Environmental Law Center and Western Organization of Resource Councils released a report on state oil and gas regulations for methane waste. The authors performed extensive research to determine whether anticipated federal standards are needed to fill holes in state oil and gas methane waste regulations for federal lands.

Lawsuit to Challenge Feds’ Approval of Decades More Coal Pollution at Four Corners (Press Release 12/21/15)

12/21/2015

After years of refusal by U.S. government agencies to address coal pollution damage from the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine, Diné (Navajo), regional and national conservation groups today took joint legal action to seek justice for impacts to communities, the climate and endangered species. 

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