In keeping with standard operating procedure the Obama administration has again spoken and operated with its forked tongue on yet another topic, Climate Change. While throwing the Climate Change Crowd a trinket in West Virginia, it gives Card Blanche to Big Coal co.'s in the West to rip up more national park land than any other president ever; not to mention just squattin' right over their precious Carbon Emissions / Footprint stats and takin a big hearty dump...
Perhaps the Global Warming Wackos are finally getting the picture the Conspiracy Theory crowd had a long time ago: You just can't trust Barry....http://www.wildearthguardians.org/library/paper.asp?nMode=2&nLibraryID=859
Date: 4/6/2010 Press Release
Author: WildEarth Guardians
Contact: Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians, (303) 573-4898 x1303
Out West, Obama Administration Gives Big Coal a Free Pass
While Limiting Mountain Top Removal in Appalachia, Obama Ignores Climate Change from Western Coal Mines, Approves Nearly 1 Billion Tons of New Carbon Dioxide Emissions
The same day the Obama administration issued guidance to limit the destructive coal mining practice of mountaintop removal in Appalachia, it quietly approved federal coal leases in Wyoming that will result in nearly one billion tons of new carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decade.
The federal Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision on April 1 to offer the West Antelope II coal lease is one of a number in the past two months that lock in dirty coal production in the West for years without attempts to limit the damaging greenhouse gas impacts from mining and burning coal.
The West Antelope II lease will permit the strip mining of more than 400 million tons of coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, the nation’s largest coal producing region. Each ton of coal, when burned, produces nearly two tons of carbon dioxide. As a result, the West Antelope II lease will lead directly to the production of one billion tons of carbon dioxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. This increase in carbon dioxide would nearly erase the gains made by the recently approved increase in federal fuel efficiency standards, which EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced would lead to a one billion ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Notably, the Obama administration refused to consider requiring mining companies to mitigate the global warming impacts of the proposed lease. It also said that not leasing the coal was not an option since America’s reliance on coal for electricity was likely to increase over the next quarter-century, a conclusion many studies contest.
“It’s business as usual for big coal out West,” said Jeremy Nichols, Climate and Energy Program Director for New Mexico-based WildEarth Guardians. “The Obama administration has so far given the coal industry a free pass, and ignored opportunities to limit some of the single largest sources of global warming emissions. It’s time for the Administration’s actions on western coal to match its rhetoric on global warming.”
Nichols noted that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who oversees BLM, issued an order last September proclaiming the his Department was “taking the lead in protecting our country’s water, land, fish and wildlife ... from the dramatic effects of climate change,” and pledging to “change how we manage the land” to address global warming.
Despite this commitment, the Obama administration has made a number of other recent decisions green-lighting coal mining without any attempt to reduce the mines’ global warming impacts. For example:
-- Earlier this year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told two coal mines in Colorado to move forward with plans to expand coal mines that could result in bulldozing roads in protected National Forest roadless areas.
-- Last week, BLM proposed approving a 60-million-ton coal lease in Montana for the Bull Mountains mine.
-- In March, BLM completed an environmental review on a proposal to open the New Elk coal mine in southern Colorado that will result in removing 30 million tons of coal.
-- BLM also approved a proposal in March to lease 4 million tons of coal at the Elk Creek mine in western Colorado.
And notably, the BLM is also weighing whether to issue 11 additional coal leases in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming which would collectively mine nearly five billion tons of new coal, which would lead to the release of nearly 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide. Last Fall, WildEarth Guardians released the report, "Undermining the Climate," detailing the impending global warming impacts of these leases.
As at West Antelope II, BLM refused to consider ways to limit coal’s climate change impacts from any these proposed leases, and in most cases down-played or ignored how BLM’s decisions are worsening global warming. And in authorizing the West Antelope II coal lease, the BLM has signaled it has no intention to address the global warming impacts of any additional coal leases in the Powder River Basin.
“Burning coal is the single biggest contributor to global warming,” said Nichols. “The Obama administration could be – and should be – using its position as owner of over a third of America’s coal to protect our water, wildlife, and communities from climate change. It’s time the Obama administration stepped up.”
Nichols also noted that the New Elk and Elk Creek mine proposals will both result in the emission of millions of cubic feet of methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere. In neither case did BLM consider requiring the mines to burn or capture methane, actions that can reduce the gas’s heat-trapping impacts by more than 90 per cent. Other countries, including the UK, Australia, and China, have employed state-of-the-art technology to mitigate methane impacts for years.
In rejecting methane mitigation measures, BLM backed away on a Bush Administration decision that the agency can require measures to limit methane emissions. The Obama BLM stated not only that it will not, but that it is legally powerless, to address methane emissions from coal mines
“BLM’s statement that it can’t limit methane emissions from mining federally-owned coal is just wrong and a step backward from the Bush administration,” said Nichols. “It’s not the kind of change we can believe in.”
Don't suppose any of these folks supported ObamaCare....?