Wind turbines.

Coal powered energy does not behave like wind and solar energy. Economists at the University of Montana say this means extra costs are tacked on to renewable energy as demand for it grows. But renewable energy advocates are critical of this analysis.

Spring Creek Coal Mine Inks New Contract With Japan

Jan 17, 2018

Coal from the Montana side of the Powder River Basin will soon be headed to Japan for two new state-of-the-art coal gasification plants in the Fukushima Prefecture. Cloud Peak Energy announced an agreement with Singapore-based JERA Trading to supply coal for up to 40 months beginning at the end of next year.

A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin
U.S. Geological Survey

We're getting perspective now on last week's news that the U.S. Interior Department said it had approved a major coal mine expansion in Montana. It caused the stock of the mining company involved to temporarily spike.

Six days later, Interior rescinded its statement, saying no expansion was approved, and the original approval statement was the result of “internal miscommunication.”

While coal production is down nationwide, a new report says it still brings a lot of money to Montana. 

Hardin Coal Plant Faces Closure, Seeks Buyer

Nov 21, 2017
Coal mining.

A coal-fired power plant near Hardin may shut down next year unless its owners can find a new buyer.

If the Hardin Generating Station closes next year, that city could lose 30 good-paying jobs and almost a half-million dollars in tax revenue.