A federal judge has reinstated a moratorium on coal leasing from federal lands that was imposed under former President Barack Obama and then scuttled under former President Donald Trump. Friday's ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris requires government officials to complete a new environmental review of the leasing program before they can resume coal sales. It marks a major setback for the already struggling coal industry. Few leases were sold in recent years as coal demand shrank drastically. But coal from existing leases remains a major contributor of planet-warming emissions. The industry's opponents had urged Morris to revive the moratorium to ensure coal can't make a comeback as climate change worsens.
Seven states in the U.S. West are facing a deadline from the federal government to come up with a plan to use substantially less Colorado River water in 2023. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to publish hydrology projections on Tuesday that will trigger agreed-upon cuts to states that rely on the river. On top of that, states are facing a threat to propose additional cuts or have them mandated by the federal government. Prolonged drought, climate change and overuse are jeopardizing the water supply that more than 40 million people rely on. States are acknowledging that painful cuts are needed, but also stubbornly clinging to the water they were allocated a century ago.