thermal coal

Opinion: Wyoming’s ‘clean coal’ plans stir false hopes

It’s no secret that the U.S. coal industry’s hopes of revival by exporting its product to Asia via West Coast ports—what Platts has called an “export or die” strategy—have been dashed by the structural decline in global coal markets. 
That’s why Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead’s recent announcement that a new “clean coal” technology partnership between his state and a Japanese consortium could open up plans for exports of Powder River Basin coal only stirs up false hopes.

Jerry Kramer: From Jordan to the heights of the NFL


Jerry Kramer is best known for playing with the Green Bay Packers when they won the first two Super Bowls, in 1967 and ’68. The offensive lineman also played a big role in helping the Packers win seven world championships in the 1960s.

Any discussion of his career is also likely to include mention of the epic contests Kramer participated in, such as the Ice Bowl (1967 NFL Championship Game), or his interactions with almost sanctified figures like Vince Lombardi. Continue Reading →


More artists following muse down independent road


When I pitched my new novel, “Edward Unspooled,” to the publishing house with which I’ve been in business for five books, I was struck by a profound difference in our focus. I’d followed passion and emotion—that fire to get up every day and dive into the manuscript, maybe the only thing that makes the enterprise bearable. Here it is, I’d said. I wrote my whole heart into this thing.

My publisher talked about the numbers. Continue Reading →

Graffiti art, and illegal tagging, proliferating in Billings


Love it or hate it, graffiti art is slowly spreading in Billings, covering more and more walls either by commission or permission.

Probably the best known spot is the “art alley” between the 3200 blocks of First and Second avenues north. It was created as part of a collaboration between the Downtown Billings Association, Sherwin-Williams and the Underground Culture Krew. Continue Reading →

Prairie Lights: Volunteers, donors and a long legacy


Twenty years ago, in the spring of 1996, I drove for more than 20 miles along the Yellowstone River in the passenger seat of Norm Schoenthal’s battered pickup truck.

Schoenthal was then the greenway coordinator for the Yellowstone River Parks Association. I was working for the Billings Gazette, having recently gone back to reporting after working as an editor for seven years. Continue Reading →