Judge revives Obama-era ban on coal sales from US lands

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge has reinstated a moratorium on coal leasing from federal lands that was imposed under former President Barack Obama and then scuttled under former President Donald Trump. Friday’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris requires government officials to complete a new environmental review of the leasing program before they can resume coal sales. It marks a major setback for the already struggling coal industry. Few leases were sold in recent years as coal demand shrank drastically. But coal from existing leases remains a major contributor of planet-warming emissions. The industry’s opponents had urged Morris to revive the moratorium to ensure coal can’t make a comeback as climate change worsens.