Montana Public Radio

Montana Environmental Information Center

Coal. File photo.
Flickr user oatsy40 (CC-BY-2)

Washington and Oregon are considering cutting ties with Montana coal.

Wednesday, Montana’s Environmental Quality Council spoke with legislators from the West Coast states who are drafting bills that could shut down at least part of the coal plant in Colstrip.

Steve Bullock Duane Ankney in Colstrip 1.5.16
Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio

Environmentalists are expressing disappointment in the new Clean Power Plan Advisory Council that Governor Steve Bullock announced today.

The 27-member body includes 17 people either directly tied to the coal-fired energy sector or supportive of it.

Alan Kirk, mine permitting manager, and Bob Jacko, vice president of operations for Tintina show plans for the Black Butte Mine in July 2015.
Steve Jess

An environmental group is raising the alarm because a central Montana mining project is now in the hands of offshore owners — owners who, they say, won’t care about protecting Montana’s environment as much as Montanans do.

Colstrip power plant as seen in the early 1980s.
David T. Hanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

Things have changed a lot since January, when it comes to Montana's response to groups in Washington state that could shut down parts or all of the Colstrip coal-fired electricity plant southeast of Billings.

Montana State Senator Duane Ankney joined other Montana and Washington policymakers to discuss the future of the Colstrip power plant.
Eric Whitney

About a dozen Montanans were in Spokane Wednesday to talk to Washington state lawmakers about legislation that would impact the Colstrip coal-fired power plant southeast of Billings.

The moratorium on major new coal leases on federal land that the Obama administration announced today, is either long-overdue or the latest offensive in the ongoing war on coal. That depends on whom you ask.
BLM

News reports are saying that President Obama’s Clean Power Plan has set new targets for Montana that are twice as large as those floated last year in a draft of the plan. But the head of Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality, Tom Livers, says it’s still unclear to him what exactly the new thresholds are.

Windmill at the Judith Gap, MT wind farm.
David J. Laporte (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The plan the White House unveiled today to reduce carbon dioxide emissions nationwide is meeting with strong and broad criticism in Montana.

Alan Kirk, mine permitting manager, and Bob Jacko, vice president of operations for Tintina show plans for the Black Butte Mine in July 2015.
Steve Jess

About 50 miles east of Helena, in White Sulphur Springs, residents are weighing the benefits that a new copper mine could bring to their community: about 200 new jobs along with millions of dollars to spur business growth. Opponents of the mine say Montana risks losing something even more valuable, one of its last unspoiled rivers.

The moratorium on major new coal leases on federal land that the Obama administration announced today, is either long-overdue or the latest offensive in the ongoing war on coal. That depends on whom you ask.
BLM

Montana coal advocates are hailing the Supreme Court's ruling against the Obama administration's attempt to limit toxic emissions from power plants.

The justices ruled the Environmental Protection Agency failed to adequately consider costs when regulating emissions from coal and oil-fired plants.

Colstrip power plant, Colstrip Montana.
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down a rule meant to reduce haze from coal burned in Montana.

Environmentalists were critical that rule wasn’t strong enough and hope it will be revised and strengthened. Meanwhile, the coal industry is calling the ruling a victory.

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