Does Coal Cash Turn Protestors into Hippiecrites?
Hippiecrite is a word I just made up. Here’s the definition of a hippiecrite: environmentalists who complain about stuff they benefit from. Like, if you complain about the Keystone XL pipeline, but you drive a car and take warm showers, then you might be a hippiecrite.
That’s the gist of this Missoulian article, titled While coal trains draw Missoula protests, coal money doesn’t.
Activists have protested coal trains coming through Missoula.
The many projects that coal money support here are another matter.
Coal is the source of the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund, which has provided millions of dollars in economic support for some of Missoula’s homegrown businesses since its creation by the Montana Legislature in 2005. Think TerraEchos and Rivertop Renewables.
“I think that the funds Missoula receives are extremely important in terms of economic development,” said City Councilwoman Caitlin Copple, who has sought Big Sky funds to support the council’s economic development efforts. “Does that mean I’m a big fan of fossil fuels? No. But the reality is we live in a state where energy is a really important part of our economy.”
Notice the nice quote from Copple. Fresh off her failed effort to push unsightly homeless alcoholics out of downtown and into parks and neighborhoods (so people without penises can feel safe) Copple is positively framing the coal money that makes any Missoulian concerned about toxic coal dust a hippiecrite.
Maybe Caitlin Copple isn’t informed about the recent history of coal in Montana. Luckily this is a topic covered extensively here at 4&20, mostly by jhwygirl. Here is some suggested reading:
As you can see, there is a lot to be critical of when it comes to coal in Montana. But if you do, then you’re a hippiecrite, even you Northsiders who live along the tracks.
Luckily for a “progressive” politician like Caitlin Copple, people who live along railroad tracks don’t have the economic clout to derail her bid to get money for economic development. Let them breathe toxic dust while our local politicians figure out how to spend the coal cash.
Hey, I know, maybe the city of Missoula can use coal money for the legal defense of the unconstitutional ordinances the Montana ACLU will litigate over?