HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock released the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement today on the moratorium he is placing immediately on new coal leases on federal lands. The moratorium will remain in effect while the US Secretary of Interior conducts a comprehensive Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act focused on identifying and evaluating potential reforms to the federal coal program. The review is expected to take three years to complete.
"President Obama is wrong, and once again Montana’s working families are left bearing the brunt of his unilateral action. Of course American taxpayers should get their fair value from coal leases and of course there should be transparency in the process. But you don’t shut down a program just to tinker with it -- you fix as you go. As this process moves forward, I am going to demand Montana has a seat at the table."