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Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen says environmental groups have ‘alleged the kitchen sink’ to stop the mine’s 7,000-acre expansion

A coalition of 16 Republican-led states led by Montana filed a brief Tuesday in an ongoing federal case involving a major underground coal mine located in central Montana.

The states asked the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case after the panel struck down a federal permit green-lighting Bull Mountain mine’s planned expansion, according to the brief obtained by Fox News Digital. In April, the panel ruled in a 2-1 decision that the permit issued under the Trump administration had failed to adequately explain its evaluation of the proposed expansion’s impact on global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Department of Interior (DOI) concluded in 2018 that the roughly 7,000-acre expansion of the Musselshell County, Mont., mine would lead to a minor 0.04% uptick in total U.S. emissions over the course of more than a decade. The agency’s assessment came years after Signal Peak Energy, the mine’s operator, first requested a permit for the expansion, a portion of which would be on land managed by the federal government.

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