By Kathryn Flagg
Laramie, WY – Following an announcement that the Bureau of Land Management will hold four competitive coal lease sales in the Powder River Basin, some Wyoming environmentalists are urging the state and federal government to put more effort into developing "clean coal" technologies.
One of those groups is the Wyoming Outdoor Council. The group's Richard Garrett says they are concerned about the environmental impacts of the 880 million tons of carbon released into the atmosphere each year as a result of burning Wyoming coal.
"The state has embarked on a course of trying to determine how feasible carbon capture and sequestration is, and we think the federal government needs to use some of the dividends from the coal leasing to amplify that research and better refine it and make clean coal a reality."
Meanwhile, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation praised the coal industry's efforts to minimize the impacts of surface mining on wildlife and habitat. The group said additional coal mining in the Powder River Basin is an example of balancing energy development and wildlife protection.