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I am republishing this diary from yesterday, to reach more eyes.

The big news yesterday is Arch Coal applied for a permit to its planned large open pit coal mine with the State of Montana today. This big news added emphasis to our week long series of protests and civil disobedience against turning Montana's the River basin into Asia's newest source of cheap coal.

Arch Coal submits application for strip mining permit at Otter Creek

Written by
John S. Adams
Tribune Capital Bureau

HELENA — Coal giant Arch Coal, which owns the rights to mine approximately 1.5-billion tons of coal in southeastern Montana, last month quietly submitted an application to state regulators for a strip mining permit for the proposed Otter Creek Coal Mine.William M. "Mike" Rowlands, director of operations for Billings-based Otter Creek Coal, LLC, called the permit application one of the "milestones" in the development of the proposed coal mine.

"We've been targeting this time frame for a while and it came to fruition," Rowlands said. "This is just the first step in the process. We're still a long way away from mining there."otesters-occupy-state-capitol/article_7185c16d-a369-5274-a9d1-65ec3fee76b0.html">Coal protesters occupy state Capitol

I arrived in Helena late afternoon on Monday after driving up the Little Blackfoot River Valley. As I was marveling at the valley picture postcard beauty something very ugly occurred.  A coal train came down the valley traveling at a rapid clip. As I looked over at the uncovered train cars I could see a grey haze over the speeding train as it speeded down the breathtakingly beautiful valley. Big Coal says they treat the coal with a agent to keep  it for blowing away. If the do so it's not very effective judging by the visible coal dust coming off of that train. Its another of Big Coal's let it slide fake fixes like mine safety.

As I was arriving in Helena seven protesters were arrested at the Montana Capital Building.

Fueling dissent

The protesters, led by a Missoula group called the Blue Skies Campaign, billed the "Coal Export Action sit-in" as a peaceful gathering. They hope to convince the Montana Land Board to reject development of coal in eastern Montana, or at a minimum delay action on the issue while more studies are undertaken.

"We are hoping that they stay neutral until they know what the risks are," said spokesman Lowell Chandler.

The Blue Skies group was at the Land Board meeting earlier this month unsuccessfully opposing an expansion of the Bull Mountain Mine. The board is now taking public comment on the $3.5 million bid received from Signal Peak Energy to lease more state coal at the mine site.

The land board is chaired by Gov. Brian Schweitzer and includes Attorney General Steve Bullock and other statewide elected officials.

The protest this week asks the state to stop planned development of Otter Creek coal, Chandler said.

This is a local TV news report on Monday's action.


We set up an symbolic Occupy camp during the day today on the grounds of the state capital building, and marched to the Downtown about a mine away.

Then we held a Die-in infront of the U.S. Bank in downtown Helena. U.S. Bank is providing some of the financing for the Mega Coal mines in the Powder River basin.  

After marching back to the Capital Building The Beehive artist collective form Colorado did a presentation of a large Art Project resembling a Bosh painting in its complexity, Based on input on the impact of Big Coal in series of narratives collected throughout Appalachia.

Three more protesters were arrested today.  

Coal Export Action is a shoestring operation. We have a critical need for bail/fine money, so we can keep the civil disobedience going for the rest of the week. I don't have to tell you how important this is.

Please Help us

Coal Export Action

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

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