Montana’s Republican candidates seemed to uniformly blame Gov. Steve Bullock for the trouble with the coal industry during a Wednesday meeting at the Billings Public Library.  The meeting of coal stakeholders came one day after an owner of Colstrip Power Plant settled an environmental lawsuit by agreeing to shut down two of the facility’s four units within six years.
Greg Gianforte, Republican candidate for governor, told the group of state legislators, mining representatives and Colstrip community members not to expect a different response to coal country’s problems until voters start electing Republicans to state offices.   Democrats occupy four of Montana’s five statewide offices.

Those five officials control development of Montana public lands as members of the state Land Board, but Gianforte didn’t mention how the Governor, or any other Montana official, is responsible for coal exports nearly stopping, cheap natural gas, renewable energies, or coal’s negative impact on the environment.