Archive: June, 2012

Tongue River Railroad veers off track – Missoula Independent, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012
http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/tongue-river-railroad-veers-off-track/Content?oid=1662178 By Matthew Frank South of Miles City, the Tongue River bends through Mark Fix's 9,700-acre ranch. He's trying to stop a coal-hauling railroad from running through it, too. Last week, Fix and other ranchers along the river notched a victory when the federal Surface Transportation Board ruled that the Tongue River Railroad Company must reapply for a permit to carry coal from the isolated Otter Creek tracts in southeastern Montana, a decision that will at least further delay the railroad...
Categories: AgricultureCoalLandowner RightsMember newsNewspaper editorialNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Study finds $29 billion in lost revenue from undervalued Powder River coal sales – June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012
With Almost No Accountability, BLM Failure Created Boom in Electric Power Industry Use of Artificially Cheap Coal from Montana and Wyoming; Next Major Coal Sale Set for Thursday. By Northern Plains Resource Council WASHINGTON, D.C.  -- Taxpayers missed out on an estimated $28.9 billion in revenues over 30 years due to the failure of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to get fair market value for U.S.-owned coal mined in the Powder River Basin, which currently produces 44 percent of...
Categories: CoalCongress


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More questions than answers at Columbus train forum – Billings Gazette, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/more-questions-than-answers-at-columbus-train-forum/article_cbb37956-d7b1-5ba2-9578-26cbdd242e9a.html By Linda Halstead-Acharya COLUMBUS — Columbus Mayor Gary Woltermann has spent more than 70 years in this Stillwater County seat, and he remembers when a train passing through town was a “big deal.” Now Woltermann, who owns Git’s Big Sky Motel along Pike Avenue in Columbus, could do without the noise that 15 trains make as they blow their horns at the town’s two crossings each day. The mayor may prefer less noise but he also realizes the economic impact the railroad...
Categories: CoalLandowner Rights


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Commentary: The glimmer of Montana’s black gold flickers a bit – Montana Public Radio, June 20, 2012

June 22, 2012
http://mtprnews.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/tom-power-commentary-the-glimmer-of-montanas-black-gold-flickers-a-bit/ By Tom Power University of Montana economics professor emeritus Just as a public relations piece, masquerading as economic analysis, was released praising the proposed Otter Creek Mine and Tongue River Railroad for their magical powers to transform the Eastern Montana economy, Arch Coal, the huge coal company that has leased that coal, is stumbling financially. Arch Coal is also a major partner in the proposed new coal port near the mouth of the Columbia River that would allow Arch to export the...
Categories: Clean EnergyClean WaterClimate changeCoalFossil FuelsPlains Speaking


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Scope of Corps’ coal port review unclear – Helena Independent Record, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012
http://helenair.com/news/local/scope-of-corps-coal-port-review-unclear/article_037c1426-bc2e-11e1-89f5-0019bb2963f4.html By SANJAY TALWANI The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has replied to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber regarding the potential scope of its environmental review of expansive new ports on the West Coast, but it remains unclear whether the Corps will include reviews of the impacts of increased coal train traffic through Montana. The Helena City Commission and Missoula City Council have both asked the Corps to consider impacts of increased train traffic through those cities should the abundant coal from Wyoming...
Categories: CoalNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Day-long celebration planned June 30 for East Rosebud Creek

June 21, 2012
By Northern Plains Resource Council Local residents and conservation groups will host an all-day celebration at the East Rosebud Lake Lodge on Saturday, June 30, to raise awareness of the threat that hydroelectric development poses to East Rosebud Creek. The event is free and open to the public. June 30 activities 10:00 a.m.:      Bird watching tour led by Steve and Deb Regele 3:00 p.m.:        Wildflower tour led by Marci Dye 4:00-6:00 p.m.: Barbecue potluck (please bring a side dish; hot dogs and fixings will be provided) 4:30 p.m.:        Short presentations about...
Categories: Clean WaterEventsNews


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Federal board: A do-over for the Tongue River Railroad – Public News Service, June 20, 2012

June 20, 2012
Radio interview http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/27039-1 By Deb Courson Smith BILLINGS, Mont. - Tongue River Railroad Co. will have to backtrack a bit on plans to build a new rail line to haul coal from Otter Creek. The federal Surface Transportation Board has directed the company to reapply for a permit because the project has changed, and court rulings found the review of possible environmental impacts wasn't complete. Tongue River rancher Mark Fix says it gives his family a reprieve, since their property was targeted for the project -...
Categories: AgricultureCoalLandowner RightsMember newsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Spokane wants more study of coal trains – Associated Press, June 19, 2012

June 20, 2012
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/spokane-wants-more-study-of-coal-trains/article_2395db97-7609-548e-9904-d79d18e4f255.html?print=true&cid=print SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council has unanimously approved a resolution requesting further study of the effects of coal trains moving through the city. The resolution requests that the potential impacts of the trains to Spokane's public health, safety, economy, traffic, and air quality be included as a part of the project's Environmental Impact Study. It also seeks a hearing in Spokane for any project that may cause significant increases in rail traffic in the city. Spokane County is a major...
Categories: Coal


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Guest editorial: Rancher says coal ash regulation is overdue – High Country News, June 19, 2012

June 20, 2012
http://www.hcn.org/wotr/rancher-says-coal-ash-regulation-is-overdue By Clint McRae Clint McRae is Colstrip-area rancher, longtime member of Northern Plains, and a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News (hcn.org). In Montana, clean water is the lifeblood of any successful ranch. I know this, because I am a fourth-generation rancher in southeastern Montana. My great-grandfather, a Scottish immigrant, settled along the banks of Rosebud Creek in the 1880s because of its abundance of clean water, both aboveground and below it. I’m sure he...
Categories: Clean WaterCoal ashLandowner RightsMember news


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Ranchers deliver blow to coal-hauling Tongue River Railroad – June 19, 2012

June 19, 2012
Federal Surface Transportation Board sends “coal to China” railroad back to square one By Northern Plains Resource Council BILLINGS, Mont. – The Surface Transportation Board on Monday announced the controversial Tongue River Railroad (TRR) must reapply for a permit to haul coal from the isolated Otter Creek coal tracts in southeastern Montana by rail and to eventual markets in China and other Asian countries. Last December, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled, in a case filed by the Northern Plains...
Categories: CoalLandowner RightsNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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