Praise Obama for Halting Coal Leases on Public Land

Target: U.S. President Barack Obama

Goal: Commend President Obama for halting new coal leases and effectively freezing new coal production on public lands.

President Obama has halted all coal leases on public land and in doing so is delivering on statements he made during his final State of the Union address: “Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future.” It is reassuring to see our politicians deliver on their promises and halting new coal leases on public lands is a bold promise-keeping move. It speaks highly towards Obama’s foresight as President.

Coal mining is a dirty practice and a non-sustainable source of energy. According to Greenpeace, coal mining causes deforestation and releases toxic minerals and heavy metals into soil and water systems. Coal mining also releases coal mine methane, which is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and contributes towards global warming. Both underground and above ground coal mining operations cause pollution.

We are going to have to change energy sources eventually and switching before more pollution has detrimentally affected our country and its citizens is a practical move. Global warming is going to cost everyone a lot of money, and the sooner we force our private sector to put all of its ingenuity towards renewable resources, the sooner we can get ahead of the market that will eventually develop.

Halting new coal mining leases is important not only because of the immediate environmental benefits, but also for the message it sends to the coal mining industry. Coal mining in 2014 brought in $1.2 billion in leases, royalties and other fees, so giving up some of that money shows the government is serious about switching to more renewable sources of energy. Sign to thank the president for this move.


Dear President Obama,

The coal mining industry is extremely powerful and going against it is brave. Your recent move to end new coal leases on American public lands is highly commendable and speaks well of your foresight and the legacy you will leave behind. The coal mining industry is at its lowest employment and production levels since the 1980s, partially thanks to governmental pressures like your recent actions.

Coal mining is a non-sustainable practice that pollutes our land and water and contributes to global warming. Gases released during coal mining are worse than carbon dioxide for our atmosphere; it should not be considered a “political” move to acknowledge the dangers of global warming. Trying to mitigate such dangers with legislation is practical.

Hopefully this is a permanent move towards more sustainable energy practices in the future. The short term disadvantages of switching from coal to more renewable resources will be more than made up for with future gains. Coal simply is not the fuel of the future because we are not going to have enough, especially once China and India speed up their usage. The sooner we can make the switch, the better. The coal mining industry will eventually either adapt or disappear and new companies and industries will arise in their place.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the American public and our future children and grandchildren.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sarah Driver

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