Hoeven: Appeals Court Overturns Obama-Era Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated a federal district judge’s reinstatement of the Obama-era moratorium on coal leasing for federal lands.

“Our state and nation depend on the affordable and reliable electricity provided by our coal industry,” said Hoeven. “The lower court’s reinstatement of the Obama-era coal leasing moratorium, combined with the Biden administration’s Green New Deal agenda, are undermining this critical source of baseload power. We welcome today’s decision to overturn this harmful policy. Doing so aligns with our long-term efforts to ensure the U.S. can continue to make the best use of its abundant coal reserves, supporting the reliability of the grid and country’s energy security.”

Hoeven previously supported efforts during the Trump administration to rescind the federal coal lease moratorium and last year sponsored legislation to prohibit the president from issuing moratoria on leasing and permitting for energy and mineral resources, including coal, on federal lands. This comes as part of Hoeven’s continued work to ensure the U.S. can utilize all of its abundant energy resources. His efforts also include pushing back on burdensome mandates being advanced by the Biden administration, such as:

  • The Obama-era Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) rule targeting coal-fired electric power plants.
    • Hoeven plans to lead a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to block the MATS rule, should it be finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • The EPA’s Clean Power Plan 2.0.
    • This proposal runs counter to a 2022 Supreme Court ruling that the EPA does not have the authority to issue sector-wide regulations that would force states to change their fuel sources for electricity generation.