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The U.S. government has moved to block future %Coal leases on public lands in the Powder River Basin, the largest coal mining region in America.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued an environmental impact statement and proposed land use plan that makes coal resources unavailable for future leases.

However, coal could still be mined on federal government owned land under existing leases, many of which run until the year 2041.

Still, the proposed ban on any new leases applies to the largest coal area in the U.S. and could impact the future plans of coal mining companies.

The proposal from the Land Management Bureau has started a 30-day public consultation process that is scheduled to end on June 17.

Twelve active surface coal mines currently operating in the Powder River Basin located in southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming mined 220 million short tons of coal in 2022.

U.S. coal production peaked in 2008, when miners in the Powder River Basin extracted 400 million short tons.

Mining companies with operations in the affected area include %PeabodyEnergy (NYSE: $BTU ) and %ArchResources (NYSE: $ARCH ).

The National Mining Association lobby group has vowed to fight the proposed ban on new coal mining leases, calling it “…damaging to American energy security and affordability.”

Several lawmakers representing the states of Montana and Wyoming have publicly criticized the proposed ban, saying it will cost jobs and hurt local economies.

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has been cracking down on what it sees as pollution causing industries and energy sources that are believed to cause climate change.

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