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Scrapbook: Montanans Gather to Call for More Study of Increased Coal Trains

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July 26, 2012

Montanans Gather to Call for More Study of Increased Coal Trains

Bozeman
Earlier this month more than 100 Montanans packed a Bozeman City Commission meeting to make their voices heard about the potential for more coal trains to head through town.

"The hearing was an overwhelming success," said Mike Scott, associate organizing representative for the Beyond Coal Campaign in Montana. "I lost count of people testifying at 31."

The crowd gathered to tell the City Commission to "to sign a resolution calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider the impacts of the added train traffic on Bozeman during an environmental review of the proposed West Coast ports."

Scott said opposition to more polluting coal trains rolling through town spanned a wide variety of people - from small business owners, to outdoor enthusiasts, to faith representatives and medical professionals. Montana Chapter Chair Ron Jude also spoke during the hearing. Opponents of the coal trains wore stickers and were a very visible presence during the entire commission meeting. They are concerned about the health and traffic impacts of more coal trains.

From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle article:

Currently, 15 trains rumble through Bozeman every day. But a plan to build coal-exporting facilities on the West Coast and ship coal across Montana to those seaports could double the amount of trains.

Scott said the next step is hoping for a vote on a possible letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers at a future meeting. But in any case, he added, "they came out of the hearing with good energy and lots of momentum."

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