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Letters: When coal and ranching collide

May 01, 2013

Re "Ranchers drawing a line in the coal," April 27

With ranchers in southern Montana possibly having their land divided by rail lines to deliver coal to Asia — disrupting their cattle operations and polluting their water — it does seem that the 1% may win again.

Mining and shipping coal to Asia to make cheap products to sell back to U.S. residents seems problematic, with all that carbon dioxide spewing from unregulated plants that seek only bigger profits. Traditions and property that go back more than 100 years for ranching families may literally be thrown under the wheels.

What could possibly go wrong? And what was I going to say about global warming? Never mind. The profit-seekers have their fingers in their ears.

Patrick O'Brien

San Juan Capistrano

There's a limit to the quantity of coal (and oil and gas) that can be burned and still keep this tired old planet livable for humans. The consequences of burning fossil fuels are still not widely accepted, but the effects are, nevertheless, real. Like gravity.

Wyoming and eastern Montana are windy places. Job growth and economic development in this area would be better served by hitching their wagons to the wind industry. That's a clean, sustainable industry that can serve the community for at least 125 years, just like the land that's providing for the McRaes.

Robert Haw

Altadena

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