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Gov. Bullock Slams Coal Lease Moratorium

Gov. Steve Bullock (file photo)
Josh Burnham
Gov. Steve Bullock (file photo)

Governor Steve Bullock reacted strongly to the news from the White House today that it’s issuing a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land. The Interior Department says the pause is necessary to give it a chance to evaluate whether lease rates are fair to taxpayers, and their environmental impacts. Bullock issued this statement:

"President Obama is wrong, and once again Montana’s working families are left bearing the brunt of his unilateral action. Of course American taxpayers should get their fair value from coal leases, and of course there should be transparency in the process. But you don’t shut down a program just to tinker with it — you fix as you go. As this process moves forward, I am going to demand Montana has a seat at the table."

Bullock split with the White House on energy policy in August, when its Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions said Montana must cut CO2 more than any other state.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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