MTPR

Absaloka Mine

Colstrip coal mine.
Amy Martin

Westmoreland Coal Company, the Colorado-based owner of three coal mines in Montana, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court on Tuesday.

Several big coal mines in Montana and Wyoming are projected to close within the next two decades. The mines' owner, Westmoreland Coal Company, is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Vice President Mike Pence and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are scheduled to visit a coal mine on the Crow Reservation Friday. The Trump Administration has voiced its support for the coal industry, but spokesmen for the industry and an environmental organization aren’t certain what can be done to help that ailing energy source.