Tell the U.S. Surface Transportation Board: Reject the dirty coal-hauling Tongue River Railroad

Excerpt from: CREDO action

We need to step in right now to help activists in Montana put the final nail in the coffin for a climate-polluting, dirty coal project they’ve been fighting for years.

Arch Coal, the second largest supplier of coal in America, has been pushing for the construction of a new railroad stretching from Southeast Montana to the Pacific Northwest.1 That’s because they’d like to open what could become the country’s largest coal mine in Montana and then haul that coal across the country to export to China, where it would add 2.5 billion tons of climate-warming pollutants to the atmosphere.2

They need the railroad to make this climate-polluting project work. Fortunately, we have a direct way to turn on the pressure and stop this. The Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Board is holding a crucial public comment period on the railroad project for the next few weeks. Let’s overwhelm it with opposition to this dirty coal-hauling railroad proposal.

The most devastating threats associated with Arch Coal’s reckless and irresponsible project would be to the climate. After being burned in overseas power plants, the coal that would be mined and hauled by the proposed railroad would release over 60 million tons of carbon pollution every year, doubling Montana’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.3

And if the Obama administration were to approve this project, it would undermine the modest gains in its just released carbon rule aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants. We can’t allow that kind of hypocrisy to go unchecked.

This isn’t a fight Montanans should take up alone. Make your voice heard now and submit a comment to oppose this terrible idea.

CREDO activists in Montana have been fighting Arch Coal’s project from the start, having delivered over 1,000 comments against the proposed Otter Creek mine in an effort to stop a project that would be a disaster on both a global and local scale.

If built, the Tongue River Railroad would cut through precious agricultural land and wildlife habitat in Southeast Montana, while polluting and threatening the health of towns and communities along its route to the West Coast as it hauls dirty coal from the mine to proposed export terminals.4 That’s why local groups like Northern Plains Resource Council, the Blue Skies Campaign, EcoCheyenne, the Montana Environmental Information Center, and 350 Missoula have been leading the fight for years.

CREDO activists – working with the Power Past Coal campaign and others – have helped stopped several coal export terminal proposals in the Pacific Northwest already, but other proposals are still pending. Those fights will be ramping up this fall, and we’ll be in touch then with how you can get involved. Right now, stopping the Tongue River Railroad from moving forward is the best thing we can do to stop coal exports and keep dirty coal in the ground where it belongs.

Tell the U.S. Surface Transportation Board: Reject the dirty coal-hauling Tongue River Railroad by submitting the below  comment now! Go to CREDO Action and make your voice heard.

  • “I oppose construction of the Tongue River Railroad and urge the Surface Transportation Board to take the ‘no action alternative.’ The Tongue River Railroad’s transport of coal would pollute and threaten the health of communities along its route, while significantly contributing to climate change. Allowing this project to move forward directly contradicts the administration’s efforts to address climate change.”

Thank you for your activism.

Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

“Helena citizens sound off on Tongue River Railroad,” Helena Independent Record, June 16, 2015.

“Coal debate heats up as transportation board denies Missoula’s request for public hearing,” The Missoulian, June 2, 2015.

“Challenging the Otter Creek Coal Mine,” Earth Justice.

“Coal exports bad for Montana’s health, economy,” The Missoulian, October 10, 2013.
© 2015 CREDO. All rights reserved.


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