Success: Coal Company Abandons Mining Project

Target: Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign

Goal: Applaud Sierra Club’s successful efforts to prevent further coal mining in the U.S.

Coal mining company Arch Coal has announced that it no longer plans to create a massive coal mine in southeastern Montana—a project it had been pursuing for years. The company’s official statement cited “capital constraints, near-term weakness in coal markets and an extended and uncertain permitting outlook” as main reasons why the project could not go forward. In other words, the plan was halted due to popular opposition drummed up by grassroots activism and bolstered by petitions like this one on ForceChange.

A major player in the anti-coal movement is Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. By mobilizing grassroots activists throughout the country, Sierra Club has led the fight to substitute clean, renewable energy for dirty and obsolete coal plants. There are more than 500 coal plants in the U.S. today, and Sierra Club aims to close one third of them by 2020. For this they deserve our gratitude and support.

The plan proposed by Arch Coal would have dug more than one billion tons of coal from Montana’s Otter Creek coal reserves. Local opposition began with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, whose land and way of life would have been violated by the mine. These indigenous peoples played a crucial role in blocking the coal industry’s efforts.

As the Sierra Club states on its website, “coal is an outdated, backward and dirty 19th-century technology.” The coal industry is responsible for roughly one third of carbon emissions in the U.S. and almost one half of carbon emissions worldwide. Furthermore, exposure to coal dust kills thousands of people every year. These facts are quickly becoming common knowledge, which means that companies like Arch Coal’s days are numbered.

This latest blow to the coal industry is great news for Montana, the U.S., and the world in general. Please sign the petition below, thanking Sierra Club for its exceptional work.


Ms. Hitt,

I would like to thank you for your dedication to protecting our planet and its creatures from the scourge of coal mining. Due in no small part to your organization’s efforts, Montana’s Otter Creek coal reserves are no longer threatened by Arch Coal.

Without Beyond Coal and other grassroots activist organizations, it is unlikely that the pernicious coal industry would be facing the degree of adversity it does today. Your work on behalf of the environment is invaluable. Keep it up and, once again, thank you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Stephen Codrington

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