March 29, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Governor Mead expressed appreciation today for Secretarial Order 3348 that lifted the federal coal leasing moratorium. Interior Secretary Zinke’s order also stopped work on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) initiated during the previous administration to revise the BLM’s federal coal program.
“I opposed the coal moratorium when it was instituted because the moratorium failed to take into account the world-class coal production and environmental stewardship occurring in Wyoming,” Governor Mead said. “I am pleased Secretary Zinke recognized that halting the federal coal program was not necessary for proper conservation stewardship. The moratorium harmed the nation’s energy security, the many who depend on coal power, and Wyoming’s economic and job opportunities.”
Governor Mead strongly opposed the PEIS process. He spoke against it at the BLM public input scoping meeting in May 2016 and when submitting scoping comments last summer. “Wyoming produces roughly 40% of the nation’s coal – 80% of that comes from federal lands. Yet, BLM did not reach out to Wyoming beforehand to learn about the model conservation and production program occurring in our state,” Governor Mead said. “The PEIS scoping document that came out last year was headed in the wrong direction and I am happy to see that Secretary Zinke has stopped the unnecessary program review.”