Victory! – But who’s the biggest Loser?
Apparently, somebody won something recently, because MEIC and other anti-coal groups are claiming a victory. On Friday Feb. 10, 2023, Donald W. Molloy, US District Court Judge, Missoula, ordered that mining cease at Bull Mountains Underground Mine in the five sections of federal coal that have been leased since 2012. This “expansion” area has had all the state and federal approvals necessary to mine since 2015 and is currently being mined.
State of Montana: One half or 4% of the total 8% of coal royalties paid for each ton of federal coal goes to the State of Montana. It is estimated that Montanans will lose approximately 126 million dollars in royalties and tax revenue, as a direct result of Friday’s court decision ... and if the federal mineplan is not later reapproved, considerably more.
Environment: China and India currently have over 1,400 coal power plants (statista.com) and their combined coal production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.3% and reach 8.8 Billion Tons in 2025 (globaldata.com). Every coal ton that Montana leaves in the ground will simply be made up with increased production from polluting countries with regimes who care little about worker safety.
Working families: This decision has put 230 miners under direct threat of losing their jobs forever. While courtrooms are litigated and reports are written, the “true” social cost is at our doorstep.
Park City, MT