CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The federal government has rebuffed a new tactic by environmentalists to fight climate change by opposing the expansion of the nation's largest coal mines.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management decided Thursday to allow the sale of coal reserves next to the Antelope mine, the nation's fifth most productive coal mine. Cloud Peak Energy Inc. owns the mine in the Powder River Basin, which is the most productive coal region in the United States.
Several environmental groups opposed the expansion, saying the coal would contribute to climate change once it's burned. The BLM countered that options for limiting greenhouse emissions are better evaluated at power plants than at coal mines.
Cloud Peak Energy has applied to mine an additional 430 million tons of coal reserves. The mine yielded nearly 36 million tons in 2008.