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A harsh reality in coal country – with or without Trump


The Colstrip plant is fed by a nearby open-pit strip mine, and together, this so-called “mine to mouth” operation employs about 650 workers at its peak – the very jobs that Trump vowed to save during his 2016 campaign. A month before election day this year, Department of Energy secretary Dan Brouillette came to town and remarked that plants like Colstrip were being retired too quickly, calling it a

“very important facility to us”. That was encouraging to hear in a city where coal energy is pretty much the sole economic driver, making up as much as 80% of its tax revenue.



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