Environment & Energy

U.S. needs to rethink use of public lands for coal mining

Pausing to reassess federal coal sales was a wise move by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

INTERIOR Secretary Sally Jewell’s decision to pause and reassess leasing of federal land for coal mining is a smart move with implications for her home state of Washington.

The United States is overdue in updating land-management policies to be sure the public gets the best possible return on resources that it sells to companies, whether they are in the business of mining coal or raising cattle. These deals deserve as much scrutiny and skepticism as tax breaks for tycoons.