More Reasons Why Montana Otter Not the Coal Leases on Otter Creek

by jhwygirl

The state Land Board is currently mulling an additional 30 days over the coal leases in the Powder River drainage (the Otter Creek coal leases), giving members time to consider the applicability of a year-old market analysis on the value of the coal (which was compiled pre-EPA ruling and pre-cap-and-trade legislation). They’re probably also looking at the rest of the Major Conceptual and Factual Errors, brought to you courtesy The Button Valley Bugle.

The Bugle does, indeed, a fabulous job on the fallacy surrounding coal’s myriad of boondoggles – sequestration, gasification – and Sunday’s article Subsidizing Carbon Pollution is a must-read.

Coal has been around powering industry for what? Forever? Yet it still needs subsidy? And the stuff isn’t even renewable or sustainable? It defies logic, it really does.

All that aside, with a severely depressed market for coal (as reported by the Wall Street Journal) and significant unknowns such as cap-and-trade legislation and criteria for co2 emissions on coal-fired plants post-EPA ruling, coal’s value is really a wildcard – and the state Land Board is making its decision based purely what is in the best long term interests of of the state’s land, both environmentally (long term) and in profitability (short term). At this point, it seems disingenuous to claim some inflated value as potential revenue when the facts used to reach that inflated value are clearly not relevant due to significant changes in the legislative and regulatory environment.

Peruse information on Otter Creek – the state has a website as well – and consider contacting the Land Board telling them that the mining of Otter Creek is bad policy for the state and bad terms for the state trust. You can find contact information here.

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  1. ladybug

    Tax carbon, not wages, until we use less and less. Remove subsidies so renewables might compete in a much more fair market. CBO that, Republicans.

    • Anon

      Agree – let’s remove the subsidies from wind and solar. Let’s get the taxpayers out of the business of subsidizing technological developments and let them stand on their own two feet.

      As for taxing carbon, how about a $5 per gallon tax on gasoline? That should get the economy rolling by creating new jobs in the alternative markets.

      Taxing carbon should lower the taxes received from wages – as there will be far less wages to tax!

  2. Lucky

    The killer is that state trust lands are supposed to be a legacy for the education of our children and grandchildren. This is how we want our children to remember us.
    Mountain top removal.
    Every fish in every stream tested has mercury contamination.
    Uses 200+ million gallons of water/day.
    And if that’s not bad enough, it needs millions in taxpayer subsidies to stay in business.

    Thanks a lot gramps.




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