B&D Helps Secure Victory on Behalf of National Mining Association

On June 19, 2018, a federal appeals court ruled that the Interior Department doesn't have to consider the effects its federal coal leasing program is having on climate change. Beveridge & Diamond Principals Peter Schaumberg (Washington, DC) and Jamie Auslander (Washington, DC) represented the National Mining Association as amicus curiae.

Environmental advocates argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires agencies to do new analyses of the effects that mining and burning coal can have on climate change whenever new information becomes available. The court ruled, however, that the NEPA obligation ended when the federal coal management program was adopted in 1979.

The court's decision means that the Interior Department's coal leasing program can stay open. The administration would likely have had to pause the program while it prepared a detailed programmatic environmental impact statement if it had lost, which by most estimates would have taken at least three years.

Click here for news coverage about the ruling.