Despite the federal discourse to the contrary, coal mines are still operating. Major mining operations are, and will likely continue in Wyoming and Montana (which has 4 major operations). Much of that coal goes overseas to a declining demand. Eastern coal, well that is harder to mine and many areas are played out of cost effective coal. IT is why coal is not coming back
The loss of work is an issue – but the cleanup from old mines, much like the gold and silver mines of the nineteenth century, still need to be cleaned up to protect downstream and adjacent property owners and water users. If Montana is going to give $107 million to cleanup coal ash, let provide funds to do more cleanup. And let’s retrain these workers to cleanup these sites and retain others to manufacture and build renewables. Wouldn’t that put us all in a better place as opposed to trying to prop up a dying industry. Thankfully concord coach-makers didn’t have a lobby. We still wouldn’t have cars.