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Colorado judge stops West Elk mine expansion

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World Coal,

A Colorado judge has stopped Arch Coal from undertaking work to expand current mining activities at its West Elk coal mine into adjacent land. The ruling overturns the 2012 approvals from the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service, which had been appealed by a group of environmental activists.

In his ruling, Judge R. Brooke Jackson criticised the federal agencies for failing to take into account the potential carbon costs of allowing mine expansion by focusing exclusively on the economic benefits. “It is arbitrary to offer detailed projections of a project’s upside while omitting a feasible projection of the project’s costs,” Judge Jackson wrote in his judgement.

“We are disappointed in today’s ruling,” Arch Coal spokesperson, Kim Link, told the Colorado Independent. “Coal mining requires complex, long-term planning and today’s ruling complicates our efforts in that regard.”

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