A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin.
U.S. Geological Survey

We're getting perspective now on last week's news that the U.S. Interior Department said it had approved a major coal mine expansion in Montana. It caused the stock of the mining company involved to temporarily spike.

Six days later, Interior rescinded its statement, saying no expansion was approved, and the original approval statement was the result of “internal miscommunication.”

While coal production is down nationwide, a new report says it still brings a lot of money to Montana. 

Hardin Coal Plant Faces Closure, Seeks Buyer

Nov 21, 2017
Coal mining.

A coal-fired power plant near Hardin may shut down next year unless its owners can find a new buyer.

If the Hardin Generating Station closes next year, that city could lose 30 good-paying jobs and almost a half-million dollars in tax revenue.

Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe, MontanaPBS

Climate change activists and elected officials in Washington state are criticizing Puget Sound Energy's new long-range power generation plan. They say the utility isn't moving fast enough toward 100 percent renewable energy sources. That includes stating definitively that Puget Sound will shut down the Colstrip electricity plant in 2025.

Nathanial Jones, the mayor pro tem of Olympia, Washington, says rising sea levels due to climate change threaten billions of dollars worth of development in his city.

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana's sustainability efforts received a "bronze" rating Tuesday from a nonprofit organization promoting sustainability in higher education.

UM's Sustainability Coordinator Eva Rocke says UM fell just 2.2 points shy of a silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. She says that offers both hope and a roadmap for improvement.