Target: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
Goal: Stop auctioning off publicly-owned coal to large mining companies for a fraction of its worth
Burning coal for power has polluted the air and pushed global temperatures to dangerous levels. As sea ice melts and weather patterns change for the worse, it’s clearer than ever that coal must be stopped. The U.S. government has unfortunately been supporting coal mining through a federal leasing program, which has delivered nearly $30 billion in handouts to the industry. The newly appointed Secretary of the Interior has the opportunity to end this harmful relationship between the Department of the Interior and the coal industry.
The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management sells publicly-owned coal to large companies for a fraction of its worth through noncompetitive auctions, benefitting the industry at the expense of taxpayers. The Department has already sold $30 billion’s worth of this coal, and four billion more tons of taxpayer-owned coal in the Powder River Basin could soon be sold in addition. Burning this coal will release billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide, contaminating the air and exacerbating global warming.
It’s time for the Department of the Interior to take a stand against corrupt government subsidies of the coal industry. Urge Secretary Jewell to use her new position to enforce a moratorium on coal leasing.
Dear Secretary Jewell,
As the newly appointed secretary to the Department of the Interior, you have the chance to make environmental progress and weed out corruption within the federal government. You have the chance to end a long-running and corrupt arrangement between the Bureau of Land Management and the coal industry.
This coal leasing program causes billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide to pollute the air, all in the name of profit. By selling publicly-owned coal to large companies like Peabody and Arch for a fraction of its actual worth, the DOI is promoting a dirty and destructive source of power. Often, these companies don’t even burn coal to power homes in the United States. They export it to countries like China, where it will still be burned and contribute to global warming.
Please take the Obama administration’s goals of reducing emissions seriously as you take your new post. End coal leasing and discourage use of this dirty energy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimaster97commons