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Article: Count on Coal Montana - Montana Public Radio

Mar 8th, 2013

The Count on Coal Montana campaign is aimed at expanding the extraordinary benefits all Montanans receive from the development of state’s most abundant natural resource.

With more than one-third of the nations coal reserves, Montana has more than enough coal to meet our energy needs. In fact, our state alone has enough coal to power the entire U.S. energy demand for over 100 years.

Yet, despite our abundance of coal, Montana still ranks only fifth nationally in terms of coal production. Wyoming, with only half the coal reserves of Montana—produces over ten times as much coal and ranks first in national coal production.

So, what’s held up coal production in Montana? One of the factors contributing to Montana’s production lag has been our remote geographic location. Compared to other coal producing states, Montana had a competitive disadvantage in that we are just a little bit further away from historic domestic markets.

But now, as the demand for coal in International markets expands—so have the opportunities for Montanans.

Montana’s geography has now given us the competitive advantage. The route for our coal to reach export markets is the shortest and least expensive.

Taking advantage of this export opportunity for Montana coal will inevitably increase the number of stable, good-paying jobs in our state. In fact, even one new mine could create more than two thousand new jobs and generate over two hundred million dollars of new economic activity throughout our state.

 

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