In 1972, after a century of being ruled by copper barons, Montana passed a state constitution enshrining environmental preservation. So why, in 2013, are big coal companies running the state and what are the lessons for legal activists?
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Montana contains over one-quarter of the coal reserves in the United States. Coal companies which are already actively mining throughout the state plan to capitalize on the growing global energy shortage by ramping up extraction, expanding rail lines to the Pacific coast, and shipping coal to Asia. The prospect of increased coal extraction and shipping has mobilized environmental activists throughout the Northwest and NLG members are supporting them every step of the way.