With the post-election reality setting in across the country, it’s not just Twinkie manufacturers losing their jobs. The guys who keep the lights on for you are facing layoffs as well. All this, as the Crow Tribe in Montana is worried that their coal jobs will be thrown over the fiscal cliff. And- the war on coal continues.
The Indian coal production credit — which benefits coal mines on the Crow tribe’s reservation in Montana — is one of dozens of tax provisions set to expire Dec. 31.
“The Crow reservation has never had much in the way of economic development for as long as we’ve all known it,” said Bill Watt, the tribal attorney. “We have 40% unemployment on reservations. We don’t have opportunities in this sparsely populated area for casinos to help us, like many tribes do.
“We believe coal is on our reservation for a purpose, and that is to help support the tribe.”
Up To 75 employees of Montana’s Decker Coal Mine will be laid off from the surface mine near the Wyoming border in mid-January, managers said Friday.
A spokesman for mine operator Ambre Energy North America attributed the layoffs to “ongoing expense management activities,” but offered no details. It is co-owned by Ambre-subsidiary KCP Inc. and Western Minerals LLC, a subsidiary of Cloud Peak Energy.
Related: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, ‘People’s Hearing’ being held to voice concerns on coal export“
The Northern Plains Resource Council will hold a “People’s Hearing” on Tuesday night to collect testimony on the potential for increased coal train traffic through Bozeman and for proposed coal export terminals on the West Coast.
Speaking of the fiscal cliff, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) was tailgating at the Cat Griz game over the weekend where KPAX-TV asked him what happens if Congress and the White House can’t reach an agreement. They added this note:
Economists caution that if an agreement cannot be reached, the economy would fall back into a recession and stifle job creation. The average Montana family would see about a $2,000 to $3,000 tax increase if no deal is reached.
In other news, VP Joe Biden’s homeboys were protesting in the nation’s capital, as Reuters reports:
Hundreds of people who say they worry oil that would be carried the Keystone XL pipeline will accelerate climate change marched around the White House on Sunday, hoping to revive a movement credited with slowing down the permit process for the crude oil project.
The protesters changed “Hey, Obama! We don’t want no climate drama” and said they hope President Barack Obama’s election-night promise to address climate change means he will reject the pipeline. It needs a presidential permit to cross into the United States from Canada.