A recent letter extolling coal exports mentioned that “[t]echnology has greatly improved the ability of coal miners and other developers to adhere to environmentally sound methods of harvesting natural resources.”
The coal industry has been a steadfast opponent of limiting its environmental impacts. Why just last legislative session, the coal industry successfully lobbied to make Montana’s “look before you leap” environmental law (the Montana Environmental Policy Act) effectively unenforceable and to prevent anyone from looking at large scale environmental impacts, i.e., anything “regional, national, or global in nature” (Senate Bill 233).
Currently, the coal industry is an opponent of any law that requires it to account for its greenhouse gas pollution. And just last session the coal industry opposed increasing renewable energy in Montana.
Contrary to the letter, coal has long been an environmental outlier. And currently there is no economically viable method to control the most pressing pollution from coal – greenhouse gas pollution, which is altering the climate.