Archive: September, 2013

Montanans take coal export fight to Spokane hearing – Sept. 26, 2013

September 26, 2013
Coal exports to Asia through the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal at Longview, Washington, – if they develop as proposed – will lead to dramatic increases in coal train traffic across more than 500 miles of Montana. But the lead agency in charge of the proposals, the Army Corps of Engineers, has so far refused to hold hearings in Montana to learn about how Montana is impacted by that traffic.   This is why a group of Montanans traveled in a caravan...
Categories: Coal


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Coal companies scale back export goals – New York Times, Sept. 13, 2013

September 16, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/14/business/energy-environment/us-coal-companies-scale-back-export-goals.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& By CLIFFORD KRAUSS HOUSTON — The ailing American coal industry, which has pinned its hopes on exports to counter a declining market at home, is scaling back its ambitions as demand from abroad starts to ebb as well. Just south of here, New Elk Coal terminated its lease late last month at the Port of Corpus Christi, where it had hoped to export coal to Brazil, Europe and Asia. Two days later, when the federal government tried to auction off a...
Categories: CoalFossil FuelsNews


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Press release – Chinese activist says it’s too late for U.S. coal, Sept. 11, 2013

September 11, 2013
By Northern Plains Resource Council BILLINGS, Mont -- China is no longer interested in coal shipped from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming, a Chinese activist told an audience of about 80 people Tuesday night at Rocky Mountain College. “The price of coal in China has plummeted,” said Lifeng Fang, who lives in Beijing and has been working on dire air and water pollution problems in China for the past 10 years. “The market makes it unprofitable for the...
Categories: Clean EnergyClean WaterClimate changeCoalEventsNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Press release – Judge upholds Country of Origin meat labeling, Sept. 11, 2013

September 11, 2013
By Northern Plains Resource Council Today, U.S. District Judge, Ketanji Jackson rejected a preliminary injunction request from the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA), U.S. meatpackers, as well as the Canadian and Mexican beef and pork industries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently wrote new, stricter County of Origin Labeling (COOL) laws for retail packaged meat after the World Trade Organization (WTO) found the old requirements violated trade laws.   The new laws follow WTO guidelines, but the meatpacking industry still is unhappy. ...
Categories: AgricultureCourtsFoodNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Letter: Renewable energy standard diversifies our energy base – Billings Gazette, Sept. 10, 2013

September 10, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/renewable-energy-standard-diversifies-our-energy-base/article_515f9325-2009-508b-abd5-45d386781f4b.html During the month of September, Montana lawmakers will study the future of renewable energy in Montana. The legislature’s Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee (ETIC) will spend the next year analyzing the impact our renewable energy standard has had on Montana’s economy, energy base, and environment. I believe they will discover what we already know — renewable energy has been a good deal for Montana. Montana passed a renewable energy standard in 2005, requiring public utilities to add renewable energy sources...
Categories: Clean EnergyFossil FuelsLegislatureLetters


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Lifeng Fang’s visit to Montana

September 4, 2013
Lifeng Fang lives in Beijing. He has worked for years to reduce dangerous air and water pollution from the burning of coal, which is causing serious health problems throughout China. Much of that coal comes from Montana and Wyoming. Northern Plains co-hosted his public appearances in Montana and Wyoming so he could share his experiences and insights with people from this area. Mr. Lifeng spoke at “People’s Hearings” in Bozeman and Missoula, where we took public  comments on the proposed coal...
Categories: Hide BlogPlains Speaking


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The untold story of Western ranchers and their epic battle against coal – Think Progress, Sept. 4, 2013

September 4, 2013
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/04/2548821/coal-exports-ranchers/ By Tom Kenworthy Guest blogger ALONG THE TONGUE RIVER, Montana — A short distance from Mark Fix’s weathered ranch house on the Tongue River in southeastern Montana, a wide overgrown trench cuts through part of his property. Dating to the 1920s, it’s a relic of a long-ago plan to construct a railroad along the river, an effort that foundered on the shoals of the Great Depression. Nearly a century later, that railway dream has been revived, in order to link a proposed,...
Categories: AgricultureClimate changeCoalCoal ashFossil FuelsLandowner RightsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Letter: True cost of coal needs to include coal ash – Billings Gazette Sept. 1, 2013

September 3, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/true-cost-of-coal-needs-to-include-coal-ash/article_5dd677bc-ad69-52e6-b005-064a4e5ca56f.html Coal is not profitable! There were no bidders for 149 million tons of publicly-owned coal in the Powder River Basin on Aug. 21. Cloud Peak Energy CEO Colin Marshall concluded that the coal was not economically recoverable. This same week, two coal market experts, Mark Squillace, director of the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado and Tom Sanzillo, a New York-based energy consultant, speaking in Helena asserted that the federal coal leasing program has shortchanged taxpayers by...
Categories: Climate changeCoalCoal ashCongressFossil FuelsLetters


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Guest opinion: Time to reform federal coal leasing – Billings Gazette, Sept. 1, 2013

September 3, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/guest/guest-opinion-time-to-reform-federal-coal-leasing/article_877fb0cc-31dc-5df3-a42b-5eb94d1e00f7.html By Mark Squillace and Tom Sanzillo We recently visited with elected leaders, industry officials and concerned citizens from Montana and Wyoming to discuss coal and money. Our message is simple and clear. The federal lease program run by the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management is shortchanging the public budgets in both states. When Montana and Wyoming are shortchanged by the federal government, the residents of each state pay for it through higher taxes or less money for education,...
Categories: CoalCongressPlains Speaking


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Railroad study delayed: Company asks regulators to defer work to 2014 – Great Falls Tribune, August 31, 2013

September 3, 2013
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013308310026 By John Adams HELENA — The company proposing to build a 42-mile railroad from the Otter Creek Coal tracts to Colstrip has asked the federal Surface Transportation Board to hold off on completing the required environmental impact study until sometime next year. The deferred work on the study likely will push back the timeline for any possible future railroad construction or coal mining at Otter Creek. The railroad, which originally planned for an 83-mile rail line between Miles City with ending points near...
Categories: AgricultureCoalLandowner RightsNews


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