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Crow Tribe looking to develop enormous coal resource deposit

The Crow Tribe of Montana is looking to benefit from a large coal resource deposit on its reservation.

The tribe signed an agreement with Cloud Peak Energy to extract the coal. The deposit is estimated to contain 1.4 billion tons so development could bring economic, employment and other benefits to the reservation.

“Coal is life,” Chairman Darrin Old Coyote told The New York Times. “It feeds families and pays the bills.”

The goal is to sell the coal to Asian countries. But tribes in the Pacific Northwest oppose export terminals in Washington out of fear it will damage sacred sites and burial grounds and affect their treaty fishing rights.

The Crow Tribe has been lobbying those tribes to change their position, the Times reported.

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