Recently in the news was this fact: In 2010, 1.2 million people died in China from air pollution alone. The question is: Could that happen here in this country? Would our government allow such a devastation of human life to occur without trying to protect its citizenry? Or would corporate greed buy its way into the Halls of Congress even more to limit regulation? Much of this air pollution is from the combustion of carbon-based fuels. In southeastern Montana there is a proposal to develop another coal mine called Otter Creek. This coal is designed to be transported to China as well as other Asian nations. Since coal burning in the U.S. is on the decline since 2007 by 14 percent, there is no need for the coal here. Not this coal, as it is of lesser grade than coal found elsewhere.
If allowed to proceed, not only would Montana be contributing to the death and destruction of China’s people, but we would be bringing negative impacts upon ourselves. Can Montana and the world actually accept the additional 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from this one mine? For once it enters the atmosphere, it is global. Let’s think of the positive influence that Montana could have on meeting the world’s energy needs. Why should we sacrifice our own pristine land, water, air, wildlife and lifestyle for such a dirty, needless and unwanted alternative? Montana is better than this.