Missoula residents fight to break up with coal – Montana Kaimin, Feb. 12, 2014

February 12, 2014

Categories: Coal, News, Northern Plains Resource Council


In a brightly lit room of The Buttercup Market and Cafe, eight women and two men got to work. They passed around bottles of glitter, carefully glued down bits of doilies and occasionally joked around, laughter filling the otherwise empty space. Their goal: to create a number of Valentine’s Day cards for Attorney General Tim Fox, pushing him to “break-up” with out of state coal corporations.

“We have to send a message to the attorney general who doesn’t quite get it,” the owner of The Buttercup Market and Cafe, Molly Galusha said. “He’s on the land board and has a major impact on the decisions in the region and he needs to get the message loud and clear that we need to be looking for alternatives in renewable energy, not continuing to use dirty coal.”

The event was put on by the environmental group Northern Plains Resource Council based in Helena. They’re collecting these Valentines from across the state and will personally drop them off to the attorney general at the Department of Justice on Friday.

“I hope [Fox] at least reads them, and laughs a little bit,” University of Montana student and Climate Action Now member Hank Stein said, “And feels supported when he makes a decision on coal.”

Stein gathered Valentine’s Day cards earlier in the day on Monday, both from members of CAN and random students he could find in the University Center.

He thumbed through a stack of home-made Valentine’s of all colors, stopping when he came across one that read: “Dear coal, it’s just not working out. I think we should break up. No I don’t ‘want’ to be friends.” He kept going, pointing out a second one: “Our passionate coal fire of love is fizzling. It’s not me, it’s you.”

“People got sassy,” Stein said.

Missoula resident Anne Green tried to come up with her own sassy quips, her favorite: “All that glitters is not coal.” Green attended the event because of her passion for renewable resources. She said she thinks it’s time for Montana to move past the non-renewable resource of coal.

“I support Northern Plains and this particular project that they have,” Green said. “Big coal is not the right way to go for Montana and for the world.”

For those who didn’t want to take the time to create an original card, the Northern Resource Council provided a pre-made sheet, listing all the reasons Fox should stop supporting coal corporations. They include “no more stealing land and livelihoods from hard-working ranchers and farmers,” and “For the love of Montana, we can do better!”.

“It’s easy to get people to sign these,” Stein said.

While representatives from Northern Plains Resource Council are unsure of the number of cards they will collect, they said they believe it will be enough to get their point across.

“[Fox] needs to know that [coal] isn’t in Montana’s best interest,” Janet McMillan, the leader of the coal task force for Northern Plains, said.


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