Looking for oil alternatives

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. — On a wind-swept air base near the Missouri River, the Air Force has launched an ambitious plan to wean itself from foreign oil by turning to a new and unlikely source: coal.

The Air Force wants to build at its Malmstrom base in central Montana the first piece of what it hopes will be a nationwide network of facilities that would convert domestic coal into cleaner-burning synthetic fuel.

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Coal Train derails east of Bozeman

Twenty-five cars of a Montana Rail Link coal train derailed in a canyon five miles east of Bozeman on Saturday, spilling coal along the tracks and into nearby Rocky Creek.

No one was injured in the wreck, which happened at 4:30 a.m. between the Trail Creek and Bear Canyon exits of Interstate 90, just west of Chestnut.

The 115-car train originated in Spring Creek, Wyo., and was headed west to Centralia, Wash., MRL spokeswoman Lynda Frost said Saturday. The accident forced MRL to close a heavily trafficked portion of the line for at least 24 hours, possibly longer.

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Judge’s ruling favors Montana’s Bull Mountain investors

A promise by owners of the Bull Mountain coal mine near Roundup to pay investors more than $17 million plus interest was breached and is enforceable, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby issued her findings in the complicated case after hearing arguments last week from lawyers for three East Coast companies representing more than 350 investors and for Bull Mountain Coal Properties Inc., Airlie Opportunity Master Fund Ltd. and related companies.

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