Gov. Mark Gordon denounced the ruling by a federal judge on Friday that would restore a 2016 moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands, according to a prepared statement.

"This decision is a step backwards that doesn’t protect the environment and ensures consumers will pay more for energy," Gordon said.

The ruling requires the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to reevaluate the environmental impacts of coal mining on federal lands before issuing any new leases.

Gordon said:

"Enacting a moratorium at a moment when coal is badly needed to ensure a secure and reliable energy supply is wrong-headed on many fronts.

"This decision is bad for Wyoming. It hurts our country’s ability to provide reliable, low-cost energy to Americans and hinders the abilities of companies to plan and invest in new technologies like carbon capture and utilization."

The environmental legal organization Earthjustice represented these groups in the Montana federal court case: the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Citizens for Clean Energy, Montana Environmental Information Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, and Defenders of Wildlife.

A news release from Earthjustice about the decision quoted Wyoming Sierra Club Director Connie Wilbert.

In a prepared statement, Wilbert said, "As we finally head towards passing historic climate legislation that will accelerate the transition from coal to clean energy, this ruling is yet another example of coal's closing window. ... The BLM needs to shift our public land management to be a climate change solution, not a cause."

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