HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Environmental advocacy groups have launched a new attempt to halt the expansion of Montana's largest coal mine for its effects on climate change.
This time, they also argue that the federal official who authorized the Spring Creek Mine expansion in the Powder River Basin didn't have the authority to do so.
WildEarth Guardians and the Montana Environmental Information Center filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Billings to block Cloud Peak Energy's expansion to mine an additional 18 million tons of coal a year.
WildEarth Guardians led a previous attempt to block the expansion. In that case, a judge ordered federal officials to re-examine the environmental impacts.
Last fall, Interior Department officials determined the expansion would have only a minor impact on the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.