AUSTIN –Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence and Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment Kathleen Hartnett White and Director of the Fueling Freedom Program Doug Domenech issued the following statements on the announcement today that the U.S. Department of the Interior will launch a comprehensive review of the federal coal program:

“The Secretary of Interior’s announcement of a comprehensive review of coal production on federal lands is a barely masked step to justify yet another lawless federal action to eliminate the production and consumption of coal – a vital natural resource that still acts as the reliable workhorse of electric generation,” said White. “Adding ‘climate’ to the environmental impacts assessed under the National Environmental Policy Act should not give the federal government limitless jurisdiction to control our economy and personal lives. The U.S. Congress has repeatedly rejected giving federal agencies the authority to kill coal. As a result of the Administration’s now many executive actions to supplant coal, U.S. coal companies file for bankruptcy, coal-fired power plants shutter, and thousands of jobs are lost.”

“Today the Interior Department announced a ‘pause’ on issuing new coal leases on public lands,” said Domenech. “It is no surprise to anyone that this Administration wants to regulate out of existence coal mining and the use of coal in energy production. While the climate benefits of such a move are questionable, there has been a clear real impact on coal communities, families, and associated industries that rely on the production and use of this plentiful, efficient, low-cost natural energy source. Millions of electricity consumers will be impacted. This is not only a war on coal communities, it is a war on the West where the historic heritage of multiple-use management is being replaced by the imposition of wilderness-style management. This is the people’s land, not the government’s land to be managed by the well-heeled radical environmental lobby.”

The Honorable Kathleen Hartnett White is a distinguished senior fellow-in-residence and the director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment. Former Chairman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (2001-2007).

The Honorable Doug Domenech is Director of the Fueling Freedom Project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Domenech most recently served as Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia and served as White House Liaison and deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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