The four states suing over the Trump administration’s decision to restart the sale of coal leases on federal lands include California, New Mexico, New York and Washington.
On Tuesday the attorney generals of those states filed their lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Helena, Montana. The attorney generals of those states contend that the U.S. Interior Department’s reversal of the Obama administration’s moratorium on the federal coal leasing program was done without a review on whether it would be good for the environment or for taxpayers.
In 2016 the Obama administration blocked the program to study whether coal companies that lease federal lands should pay higher royalties and whether it was contributing to climate change by subsidizing coal development.
As part of his promise to revitalize the slumping coal industry, President Donald Trump lifted the moratorium by executive order in March.