A Moratorium On New Coal Development in the U.S. And China; U.S. Clean Power Plan Survives its First Major Court Challenge

On January 15, 2016, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior announced a halt to licenses for new coal development on federal lands for 3 years while the department conducts the first comprehensive review of the federal coal program in 30 years. Calling it “an historic day” the Natural Resources Defense Council summarizes the details of the announcement, including that the review “will also include an accounting of the carbon emissions of all fossil fuel production on federal lands”. Inside Climate News sums up reaction of environmental groups to the announcement and the New York Times offers a compilation of articles about the coal industry  . On January 21, the New York Times reported “Court Rejects a Bid to Block Coal Plant Regulations” , saying that a “federal appeals panel .. rejected an effort by 27 states and dozens of corporations and industry groups to block the administration’s signature regulation on emissions from coal-fired power plants while a lawsuit moves through the courts.” Further court challenges are expected, with a likely ruling by the Supreme Court in 2017.     And in December 2015, Bloomberg News reported that China will suspend the approval of new coal mines in 2016, pledging to reduce coal’s share of its energy consumption by almost 2% , to approximately 60 percent in 2016. Read more at Climate Progress  and The Guardian .



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