The Obama administration is expected to announce plans to halt all new coal mining leases on public lands. Obama’s proposal follows demands by a coalition of more than 400 organizations that the White House stop issuing new leases for all fossil fuel extraction on public lands and oceans. Speaking on Democracy Now!, Tim DeChristopher explained the campaign’s significance.
Tim DeChristopher: "So there’s another 450 gigatons that could be kept in the ground by ending fossil fuel leasing. So it’s a major demand, and it’s something that I think is kind of a new step for the climate movement, for a lot of the mainstream groups that were a part of this coalition and are a part of this campaign, that we’re saying we’re no longer operating from a paradigm of deviating from the status quo, or operating from the paradigm of looking at the challenge of climate change and what’s actually necessary, and we’re going to find a way to make that happen."
In response to Obama’s planned announcement today to end all new coal leasing on federal lands, Luke Popovich, a spokesperson for the National Mining Association, said, "It appears that they’re going after the federal coal leasing program with the intention of keeping coal in the ground."