From Dr. Steve Running this morning in the Great Falls Tribune:
From a state carbon emissions point of view, this is the single most important decision in the history of Montana. The combustion of Otter Creek coal would result in approximately 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the mine. Total current emissions from the state of Montana are estimated at 50 million tons per year. So this coal burning would effectively double Montana’s present total carbon dioxide emissions for the next half century.
He [Schweitzer] defends Montana’s environmental track record by pointing to its commitments to curb energy use by 20 percent in state agencies and promote development of wind energy. But a final decision to lease Otter Creek coal would nullify the gains from these initiatives.
If not now, when? If not us, who? Gov. Schweitzer and the Land Board should lead by example and vote not to lease the vast Otter Creek coal reserves. At a minimum, the Montana Land Board should postpone this leasing until the coal industry can offer proven, economically viable carbon sequestration technology. There is no imperative to make this lease now.
The State Land Board meets tomorrow in Helena. Let them know that leasing the Otter Creek coal is just stupid.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer — (406) 444-3111, firstname.lastname@example.org
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau — In-State Toll-Free 1-888-231-9393, Local (406) 444-3095 OPISupt@mt.gov
Attorney General Steve Bullock – (406) 444-2026 contact email@example.com
State Auditor Monica Lindeen – (406) 444-2040 firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch – (406) 444-2034 sos.mt.gov