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How Montanans Stopped the Largest New Coal Mine in North America


How Montanans Stopped the Largest New Coal Mine in North America

Nick Engelfried

Montana communities won a victory against one of the world’s biggest coal companies earlier this month, when Arch Coal abandoned the Otter Creek mine – the largest proposed new coal strip mine in North America. The story of how the project imploded is one of people power triumphing over a company once thought to be nearly invincible.


Great article with great details! You guys have won a victory that's been over 40 years in coming! Hats off to the younger generation of activists, as well as to the older generation who kept the flame alive waiting for a time when the winds of citizen activism would arise again.

One name I have to mention is Pat Sweeney of Northern Plains Resource Council. When the rest of us '70's and '80's anti-coal activists went on to other things, he and NPRC kept at it and at it and at it, with the ranchers who saw continued destruction. What heroes!


The single largest message I take away from this is not one of "self-interest" even though some jaded souls can construe it as such , but of love. That is love of the land and the environment in which one lives and the very natural desire to protect it.

Sometimes I can not help but feel that people that are born in Cities and live their entire lives in Cities are lacking when it comes to reverence for the land and its ecosystems. The natural world is a mind numbingly beautiful place from its deserts to its forests to its tundra and mountains and seas. I have never been to Eastern Montana but can envision the place. There are many who would just drive through it to get someplace else and to these I would suggest just spend some time in these areas, open your heart and soul and SEE.

Congratulations to the people of Montana and all those who participated in this attempt to protect the land.


He forgot to mention the public protests in Idaho, Oregon and Washington . None of us wanted that monstrosity to go forward, we would have all suffered. Still-way to go Montanans!


Another good example of different walks of life coming together. Without those ranchers' refusal to sell, who knows what might have happened?

So congrats to all for reaching out and stopping this monstrosity.

Like Bernie says, when we unite, we win.


Great to see. Now this is an international problem that's been going on if you take a look at Hillary's emails with regards to the coal-fired power plants in South Africa. You could see that our secretary of state has been busy promoting the banker non renewable energy line. Climate friendly Clinton? Martin Chavez the former mayor of Albuquerque said that this was a really good candidate and even took the time for an editorial in the Albuquerque Journal extolling her climate-friendly virtues. Her working on two of the largest coal-fired power plants in all of Africa FOR approvals. Yep that's climate-friendly.