Last night’s local newscast included a story about a visit to the Cloud Peak Energy strip mine at Decker, MT, southeast of Billings, by Big Sky Economic Development Corporation representatives. The video features local elected officials heartily endorsing the mining operation. There is no mention of the effect on locals or the longstanding resistance by ranching families in the area to the expansion of strip mining activities that threaten aquifer stability and water supply. The story also highlights Cloud Peak Energy’s intention to sell Montana coal to Asia via west coast ports.
Where this leaves U.S. efforts to achieve energy security is anybody’s guess.