Long-time readers will know that I advocated buy a coal mine and close it, including a coal mine in India or China. The basic idea is that there are many coal mines that are barely profitable, so buying and closing these mines could be a relatively cheap way to reduce air pollution and climate change. (much cheaper, e.g. let the coal mine produce and then pay for carbon mining). (I am giving an example of how this could work with a real coal mine for sale here).
One objection, which I noted earlier, was that BLM use it or lose it:
There are also insane “use it or lose it” laws that say you can’t buy the right to extract a natural resource without using it. When the highest bidder for an oil and gas lease near Arches National Park turned out to be an environmentalist the BLM canceled the contract! It’s absurd. The highest bidder is the highest bidder and there should be no discrimination based on the reasons for the bid. look at this science piece.
Well some good news.
Land Management Office unveiled a draft rule at the end of last month, it would put conservation “on an equal footing” with energy development and other traditional uses – a proposal that aims to confront the agency’s long history of prioritizing extraction in everything the federal domain. A key provision of that rule would grant the BLM, which oversees one-tenth of all land in the United States, the power to issue “conservation leases” to promote land protection and ecosystem restoration.
The article does a pretty good job of explaining conservation leases, but it’s hilarious how the author reflexively calls PERC a right-wing think tank with deep ties to fossil fuels that supports “free market environmentalism in chilling quotes and never feel the need to fix this with their support of conservation leases. Blank out, as Ayn Rand would say.
Few people have done more for advance the idea of conservation leases that Shawn Regan, vice president of research at the Property and Environment Research Center, or PERC, a Montana-based right-wing think tank that promotes “free market environmentalism” and has deep links to fossil fuels. Regan points to the cases of Williams and DeChristopher to highlight how legacy “use it or lose it” rules have skewed public land management in favor of extraction.
“We have these ‘use it or lose it’ requirements that define ‘use’ very narrowly that prevent conservation groups from participating in rental markets that affect the use of large swaths of the American West “, he told HuffPost. “Conservation should be considered a valid use of public lands, and groups should be able to acquire these leases and decide whether to retain them in some form or restore them.”
Regan argues that the inability of conservationists to participate in the leasing of federal lands, even when they are willing to pay more than a driller or rancher, has only fueled disputes in the states. Westerners.
… “Why don’t environmentalists just buy what they want to protect? Well, in many cases they can’t,” Regan said.
Hat advice: Robert Keller.