Welcome to Beyond Coal Montana. Montana is a land of big sky, big mountains, and big prairies. But Big Coal has plans to turn Montana into ground zero for the next rush to mine coal. Stip mines are proposed in several areas around the state from the northern portion of the Powder River Basin to the rolling hills of the north central part of the state. Big Coal has met big resistance to the their plans here. With 10% of the worlds coal sitting under our state, Montana will play a huge role in determining the future of our climate. If we can keep the coal in the ground here, we can keep that carbon sequestered where it belongs.
Coal mining in Montana is about more than climate change. Coal mines in semi-arid regions like south east Montana are notoriously difficult to reclaim. The ranching community often finds itself at odds with the mines, given that the coal seams that companies want to plunder are also the conduits for groundwater. Disrupt the coal seam and you disrupt the water. There is an old saying in the west; "Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting." It couldn't be more true.
Montana is also home to one of the dirtiest coal plants in the country. The Colstrip power plant is the 8th highest emmitter of greenhouse gases and the second largest coal plant west of the Mississippi river. This plant uses, by industry standards, out dated air pollution technology and has a miriad of problems which include the leakage of coal ash comtamination into the regions groundwater. The Sierra Club will hold the opperators of this plant accountable in order to make sure that the American tax payers will not be handed yet another super fund site.