"Plaintiffs don’t and can’t challenge Interior’s discretion to lease public lands for coal mining.”
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined a Montana-led coalition effort in supporting a petition for rehearing a case that has delayed the mining expansion of the Bull Mountain Coal Mine in Montana since 2013. The en banc case involves 350 Montana, et al. vs. the Dept. of Interior, and Signal Peak, LLC,
Despite thorough research concluding that the coal mining project would not cause any significant adverse environmental impact, a panel of the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal disagreed, citing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and held that the Department of the Interior acted capriciously in failing to explain why the environmental concerns were minor.
The petition asks the entire 9th Circuit to reexamine that holding.
“This ‘yes to your comprehensive, data-driven conclusions – but what about global warming’ doctrine finds no home in the NEPA context,” states the brief Paxton joined.
“Without some judicial restraint and deference to [the Department of the] Interior’s scientific expertise, NEPA review will supplant other substantive permitting statutes.
"Plaintiffs don’t – and can’t – challenge Interior’s discretion to lease public lands for coal mining.”
- Read the Full Brief here.