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Coal prospects looking up? Maybe not

The outlook for Montana’s coal industry may not be as bright as an opinion piece in Wednesday’s Billings Gazette suggests. The article sees losses of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues if Obama administration policies remain in place, but predicts all of that could improve under President Donald Trump. The author of the piece is Shelby DeMars, who is identified in the article as “the spokeswoman for Count on Coal Montana.” DeMars works with Chuck Denowh for The Montana Group, a consulting firm in Helena. Denowh, former executive director of the Republican Party of Montana, also has been identified as a spokesman for Count on Coal Montana. DeMars did not respond to a phone call or an email message on Wednesday. Continue Reading →

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Otter Creek: An important victory for an important place


By now the demise of the Otter Creek mine is old news. I thought I should write something about it but I didn’t. Talking to a good friend a couple of weeks later, I told him that it felt weird to write, photograph, organize and spend a significant amount of my life and emotional energy on something and then let the end of it pass without a note or retrospective. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Totem pole unites tribes in opposition to coal projects


NORTH OF ASHLAND — A 22-foot-tall totem pole that traveled 1,300 miles in 10 days had very nearly completed its journey by Sunday afternoon. On a dry, dusty hill overlooking a big bend in the Tongue River near Ashland, representatives of the Lummi Nation officially turned the totem pole over to representatives of the Northern Cheyenne people. It will be displayed at a few other nearby locations before being placed on permanent display. (more…) Continue Reading →

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