Climate alliance hosts Whitefish forum on coal proposals – The Daily Inter Lake, March 31, 2013

April 1, 2013

Categories: Coal, Events, Northern Plains Resource Council

The Flathead Climate Alliance will host a forum in Whitefish on Tuesday night on opposition to development of the state’s Otter Creek coal tracts and a railroad to support coal extraction in southeast Montana.

The forum will focus on Arch Coal’s pursuit of state permitting to mine coal at Otter Creek.

The company also is looking at developing the Tongue River Railroad, which would involve condemnation of land belonging to Clint McRae, whose family has been ranching in the Tongue River Valley for 135 years.

“A line has been crossed,” says McRae, a member of the Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council, which will be represented at the forum. “There’s something categorically wrong that we’re facing federal condemnation by a private, for-profit corporation so they can haul coal to China.”

Speakers at the Whitefish forum will discuss the local, regional and global impacts of the railroad and the mine. BNSF reportedly has been looking to expand rail capacity through Whitefish to move more coal and oil to west coat export terminals and refineries.

The Flathead Climate Alliance asserts that expansion would increase climate pollution, along with causing more trains and traffic delays in Whitefish, more coal dust and diesel emissions and potential impacts to Amtrak scheduling and tourism.

The 7 p.m. forum on Tuesday will be at the Bohemian Grange Hall, located behind Montana Coffee Traders at 125 Blanchard Lake Road. It will be preceded by a social potluck starting at 6 p.m.


220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154