The Spring Creek mine is Montana’s largest open-pit coal strip mine, and one of the largest in the United States. From 2012-2015 the Spring Creek mine was responsible for over 119 million tons of greenhouse gases, equivalent to 25 million passenger vehicles driven on America’s roas for 1 year. Recently, a federal court told the U.S. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) to re-evaluate the environmental impacts of mining on another 1,111 acres at the mine. Unfortunately, OSM concluded that future mining would have no significant impact and that the mine expansion’s contribution “to greenhouse gas emissions … will be minor.” OSM’s conclusion lacks common sense and sound scientific judgment. Please contact OSM and request that it conduct an accurate analysis of the costs and impacts of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Spring Creek Mine.
OSM’s analysis noted that mining at Spring Creek would be extended by approximately 5 years and result in 146 million tons of GHG emissions. That’s not insignificant. OSM is required to analyze the economic and social costs associated with an increase in carbon emissions – a.k.a. the “social cost of carbon.” The social cost of carbon is a detailed analytic tool developed by the federal government to determine what climate change really costs society. However, instead of quantifying the cost of emissions from the mine, OSM “elected not to specifically quantify the social cost of carbon” due to “uncertainties.” OSM is wrong. The vast majority of scientists and credible scientific bodies are not uncertain: climate change will cost us enormously, and OSM failed in its moral and legal obligation to fully weigh the costs and benefits.
We need you to contact OSM today, and ask that it fully analyze the enormous costs that society faces from the mining and burning of coal which produces greenhouse gases. OSM noted that, for 2020 GHG emissions, the range in social cost of carbon is between $12 per ton and $123 per ton. This means that the mining and burning of the additional coal at Spring Creek could cost between $1.7 and $18 billon. Nevertheless, OSM concluded that future mining would not have a significant impact and refused to quantify the major costs associated with burning Spring Creek coal.
Please take 1 minute, and contact OSM today! Tell it to fully quantify the costs associated with releasing an additional 146 million tons of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.