Editorial: Crow Tribe moves toward prosperity with coal project

Leaders of the Crow Tribe and Cloud Peak Energy are working together to develop a coal mine on the reservation in Montana. Photo from Big Metal Mine

Montana newspaper congratulates the Crow Tribe its development partner, Cloud Peak Energy, for joining the Gateway Pacific Terminal, a proposed coal export terminal in Washington:
Coal, of course, is carbon — and carbon (in the form of greenhouse gas) is the root of most environmental evil in the eyes of many folks who are honestly terrified of man-made climate change.

But coal is also black gold, and for a largely impoverished community such as the Crow, it is asking a ridiculously large price to expect them to leave the coal in Asia.

Unfortunately, in addition to federal rules that restrict the domestic market for coal, there has also been a movement afoot to impede the development of ports that can accommodate the shipping of coal to China and elsewhere.

Obtaining permits for the Gateway Pacific Terminal in northwest Washington state has been a slow and lugubrious process, and every delay has meant that the Crow Tribe has been forced to wait for its chance to lift itself up by its bootstraps and achieve the American dream.

Last week, the tribe took a major step toward prosperity when it signed a deal with Cloud Peak Energy and SSA Marine to form a partnership in the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Hopefully, the tribe’s direct involvement will encourage Washington state to stop dragging its feet and allow Montana coal to pass through the state on rail and use the port to reach foreign markets.

Get the Story:
EDITORIAL: Coal is key for better Crow future (The Kalispell Inter Lake 8/16)

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