Arch Coal, one of the biggest and richest coal companies in the world, is currently seeking a permit to rip up a pristine agricultural valley in southeastern Montana to mine the coal underneath and sell it to China.
Coal markets in the United States are disappearing. Corporations looking for a fast buck are trying to ram through proposals to open the Otter Creek strip mine and expand ports in the Northwest so the coal can be shipped on rail line through Montana, Washington and Oregon.
Montana has little to gain from Arch Coal’s venture. Montana would lose a treasure. The Otter Creek Valley is one of the last undeveloped places in the state. Irreparable harm would come to the Valley if the mine and accompanied Tongue River railroad were brought to fruition.
Who would gain from these schemes? Arch Coal would get the profits. China would get the coal. Montana would only get the impacts.