Ranchers, Conservationists Praise Federal Decision to Study Coal-to-China Railroad

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Ranchers, Conservationists Praise Federal Decision to Study Coal-to-China Railroad (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Ranchers, Conservationists Praise Federal Decision to Study Coal-to-China Railroad (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Last week the Surface Transportation Board, an economic regulatory agency that Congress directed to resolve railroad rate and service disputes and review proposed railroad mergers, released its decision to study the impacts of the proposed Tongue River Railroad from the mine to the ports on the West Coast.

The recent decision was met with praise from members of Northern Plains Resource Council - a Montana-based group that's worked for three decades to fight the Tongue River Railroad and industrialization of the ranching valley. In a media release, the group says the railroad would cause havoc to ranchers and farmers along the route in southeastern Montana.

The vast majority of scoping comments addressing the destination of the coal presumed that coal carried on the Tongue River Railroad Company’s proposed line would go to Asian power plants. According to the railroad company, some coal may be used for electricity generation within Montana, it may move some coal to the Midwest and it may export some coal to Asia and to Europe via ports throughout the country.

Arch Coal and the Tongue River Railroad Company have so far refused to disclose in their applications where they plan to ship the coal, according to the resource council. To read a copy of the Surface Transportation Board's decision, visit http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions....

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