Letter: Outdated energy – Great Falls Tribune, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013

Categories: Coal, Letters


I am writing to you concerning the proposed Otter Creek Coal Mine. With changing political environments in the past few years, big industry has begun to creep into politics so extensively that individuals are losing the ability to represent themselves and each other, and decision-makers can’t decipher right from wrong.

Let me help.

Polluting people’s air is wrong. We have no choice whether or not to breath the air around us. We can neither control its quality, nor can we clean it on our own. Everyone has the right to have clean air. Polluted air from coal causes 23,000 deaths each year, not to mention other coal ash-related health issues.

Exponentially increasing greenhouse gas emissions is wrong. The coal from this mine will contribute about 280 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere a year. We’re already seeing the detriment of global climate change each year, and significantly adding to it is unethical.

Finally, destroying water sources is wrong. Ranchers depend on this water for their cattle as well as their irrigation. Coal mines cannot prevent heavy metal seepage into surface waters, and they cannot prevent coal ash pollution in water. Bio-accumulation of heavy metals also means check your fish before consuming; they could be toxic.

Allowing another outdated energy source in this state is wrong. Check the facts and listen to the individuals, not the big corporate groups saying what you want to hear. Please let democracy work.

— Janet McMillan


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