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WildEarth Guardians Confronts Coal Mine Expansion Under Utah National Forests

Trump Administration Plots to Mine Millions of Tons of Coal, Undermining Climate, Public Lands

Denver, CO – In defense of the climate and the American public interest, WildEarth Guardians is challenging plans by the Trump Administration to open the door for more coal mining in Utah’s National Forests, 

“This a dirty energy giveaway stands to come at the expense of our public lands, our climate, and our clean energy future,” said Shannon Hughes, Climate Guardian for WildEarth Guardians. “The Trump Administration wants to devastate our National Forests just to keep the coal industry on life support and keep executives rich.”  

In comments, WildEarth Guardians called on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to reject demands by Bowie Resources to be allowed to expand the company’s SUFCO coal mine. SUFCO is the largest coal mine in Utah and while Bowie sells to nearby power plants, the company is increasingly exporting coal to Asia. 

Bowie has demanded the rights to mine 6.25 million tons of publicly owned coal underneath the Manti-La Sal and Fishlake National Forests in central Utah. 

Citing the devastating climate impacts of coal burning, the ongoing decline of coal and rise of clean energy, and the imperiled wildlife in the area, Guardians called for Bowie’s demands to be denied. 

Bowie’s mining at SUFCO is already under fire. Earlier this year, the company was given the rights to mine more than 56 million tons of publicly owned coal as part of the Greens Hollow  lease. That decision is under appeal by WildEarth Guardians and others for violating federal law. 

The latest coal mining plans come even as Bowie is losing customers and the coal industry in general is collapsing. Two of SUFCO’s largest customers, the Intermountain Power Project and Kennecott Power Plant, have imminent plans to either shutter their facilities or decommission and reduce capacity.

“Selling more publicly owned coal to Bowie Resources isn’t in the public interest, it’s a corrupt corporate giveaway,” said Hughes. “While Trump may be trying to open up our public lands for more fossil fuel destruction, we’re pushing back and we have no intention of backing down.” 


 

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