BILLINGS, Mont.—Environmental groups and a Montana American Indian tribe are asking a federal court to block President Donald Trump from lifting restrictions on the coal industry that were imposed by his predecessor.
Attorneys for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Sierra Club and other groups On March 29 sued in U.S. District Court in Montana challenging Trump’s order to resume coal lease sales on federal lands.
Under former President Barack Obama, the Interior Department declared a moratorium on new lease sales to review coal’s contribution to climate change and whether taxpayers were getting a fair return from mining companies.
Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said Wednesday that the days of targeting the coal industry with punitive restrictions are over.
Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine says lifting the moratorium would worsen climate change and allow coal to be sold too cheaply.
Industry officials praised the orders, saying they will bring back jobs, especially in coal mining.