Sen. Steve Daines says the US government’s Bureau of Land Management is ignoring regional concerns about coal policy.  The volatile politics of coal drew more 100 people to Billings on Tuesday at the invitation of the Montana Senator, who expressed shock that the BLM hadn’t included a Montana location in its slate of six public hearings on federal coal policy.
The Department of Interior is preparing to rewrite federal policy on coal mined from public lands.  For the first time, it is considering coal’s contribution to climate change, and whether mining companies are paying their fair share in royalties for federal coal.  Miners and residents of the coal company town of Colstrip turned out by the dozens to give testimony.  They called on the government to find ways to keep coal energy viable.