Proposal would move mining onto Crow Reservation

Operators of a 34-year-old coal mine that fuels power plants in the Upper Midwest and pumps money into the Crow Tribe want to extend the mine’s life by moving operations southward, onto the Crow Indian Reservation.

Federal and state regulators have released a draft environmental study of the proposal for the Absaloka Mine, which now operates within a 15,000-acre area next to the reservation in southeastern Montana. Extending the surface mine’s boundary onto the reservation would add 3,660 acres.

Read the story here: 

Montgomery offers to sell SME power

Texas-based Montgomery Energy is pitching to sell electricity to Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission, which has run into financing and environmental challenges in building a coal-fired power plant to generate its own power.

Montgomery is planning to break ground by summer on a 275-megawatt natural-gas-fired power plant north of Great Falls. It is power from that facility that Montgomery is offering to sell to SME.

Read the story here:

North Fork has plenty of oil, gas leases in U.S.

The North Fork of the Flathead is blanketed by oil and gas leases and they’re not in Canada — they’re right here in Montana, just north of Columbia Falls on Flathead National Forest lands.

The leases date back to the 1970s and have been held in what amounts to legal limbo since 1985, when James R. Conner of Kalispell, members of the Montana Wildlife Federation and the Madison-Gallatin Alliance sued Robert Burford, director of the Bureau of Land Management.

In early 1981, the Forest Service issued environmental assessments recommending that 1.3 million acres of land in the Flathead and Gallatin National Forests be leased for oil and gas development.

Read the story here: