The United States government owns 700 million acres of mineral estates, 570 million acres of which is open for coal development. The Mineral Leasing Acts of 1920 and 1947 gave responsibility for these coal mineral estates to the Bureau of Land Management, who are in charge of leasing them to companies for mining. This federal coal system has not been reviewed in more than 30 years.
Taxpayers for Common Sense has been investigating the national coal program to make sure that American taxpayers are being paid what they are owed for the more than one billion tons of coal produced annually in the United States. Their 2013 report highlighted the urgent need for review and overhaul and spurred the Department of the Interior to launch their own multi-year review of the program. Check out TCS’s video and the great work they have been doing to promote transparency and protect American taxpayers.
The solar industry is growing rapidly in the U.S. and becoming increasingly popular among U.S. citizens as an obvious solution for clean, affordable power.
However, Environment America and Frontier Group recently released this report which reveals that at least 17 fossil fuel backed groups and electric utilities are working aggressively to slow the growth of the solar industry by undermining key environmental policies.
This work is well funded and being done largely behind the scenes, making it very dangerous, but hopefully state decision-makers will resist these efforts in favor of progressive legislation which serves the burgeoning solar industry.
“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.”
–U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken
Last year, 21 youth filed a lawsuit against the federal government for violating the youngest generations’ constitutional right to life, liberty, and property through its part in causing climate change.
The U.S. government and fossil fuel industry moved to dismiss the lawsuit, but on November 10th, 2016 federal judge Ann Aiken denied this motion, affirming that the rights of the youth are at stake and allowing the case to go to trial.
Read more here.
A refreshing report published by the Overseas Development Institute this month concludes that:
“The evidence is clear: a lasting solution to poverty requires the world’s wealthiest economies to renounce coal, and we can and must end extreme poverty without the precipitous expansion of new coal power in developing ones.”
Read the full report here.