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A new lawsuit filed in federal court may force President Obama to stop treating public land as if he were George W. Bush.
Obama’s Bureau of Land Management hands out leases for coal mining on federal lands at bargain basement prices. Selling coal at a steep discount amounts to a massive subsidy for the dirtiest fossil fuel. The lawsuit, filed last week by Friends of the Earth and the Western Organization of Resource Councils, which represents farmers and ranchers, argues that BLM has ignored its legal obligation to calculate the environmental costs of opening up public lands for private companies to conduct coal mining — particularly the costs to the climate.