Missoulians Tell Wells Fargo: Blue Skies and Coal Don’t Mix
Exporting our coal doesn’t solve the problem.
On the same day that Occupy Missoula protests began on the lawn of the County Courthouse, around forty University of Montana students and Missoula community members visited a local Wells Fargo branch to demand the bank stop funding coal. This action came at an opportune moment, as energy giants like Arch Coal are attempting to turn Missoula into a throughway for their dirty product. By sending Montana coal through Missoula on the way to internal export markets, Arch and other companies hope to get rich by fostering coal dependence abroad.
Concerned citizens in Missoula, a town known for progressive ethics and environmentalism, aren’t going to stand by and let this happen. This morning our group rallied on the UM campus to hear from local business owner Mark Kersting. As the owner of the Stensrud Events Center, located mere blocks from the railroad that passes through Missoula, Kersting’s business is already being impacted by noise and air pollution from existing rail traffic. Increasing the number of coal trains on the line to an extra train per hour every day – something we could see happen if Arch gets its way – would make the problem even worse.