US says resuming coal sales has little impact; critics balk

National

FILE – In this April 4, 2013, file photo, a mechanized shovel loads a haul truck that can carry up to 250 tons of coal at the Spring Creek coal mine near Decker, Mont. The Trump administration says the resumption of coal sales from public lands will result in a negligible increase in greenhouse gas emissions, but critics say that ignores the federal coal programs broader impacts. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration says the resumption of coal sales from public lands that had been blocked under former President Barack Obama will result in a negligible increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Critics say the administration’s analysis of the federal coal program released Wednesday is flawed and ignores its broader impacts.

A federal judge in Montana had said last year that the Department of Interior had to conduct an environmental review to justify its decision to lift a 2016 moratorium on most coal sales from public lands.

Companies have mined about 4 billion tons of coal from federal reserves in the past decade.

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