Letter: Coal hurts state – Great Falls Tribune, May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013

Categories: Coal, Letters


Arch Coal, one of the biggest and richest coal companies in the world, is seeking a permit to rip up a pristine agricultural valley in southeastern Montana to mine the coal underneath and sell it to China.

Coal markets in the U.S. are disappearing. Corporations looking for a fast buck are trying to ram through proposals to open the Otter Creek strip mine and expand ports in the Northwest, so the coal can be shipped on rail lines through Montana, Washington and Oregon.

Communities along the rail line would be choked with more train traffic with longer and longer waits at crossings. Montana has little to gain from Arch Coal’s venture. Montana would lose a treasure; the Otter Creek Valley is one of the last undeveloped places in the state and the nation, rich in cultural and historical value. Irreparable harm would come to the valley if the mine and accompanying Tongue River Railroad were brought to fruition. Who would gain from these schemes? Arch Coal would get the profits.

China would get the coal.

Montana would only get the impacts.

— David Steinmuller
Gallatin Gateway 

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