Coal Protesters Head to Spokane For Terminal Hearing - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Coal Protesters Head to Spokane For Terminal Hearing

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Despite the downpour, members of the Northern Plains Council gathered in front of the Missoula Courthouse Wednesday to protest a proposed coal terminal in Washington.

The protesters are traveling from Billings to Spokane, to attend the second of five hearings about a proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Wash.

The hearings are in front of the Army Corps of Engineering.

Council members say they are upset no Montana representatives were invited to the hearing.

"The commodities don't get to the ports by osmosis," said Mark Fix, a rancher from the Tongue River Valley near Miles City.

"They start from the Powder River Basin and they're proposing the new Otter Creek Coal Mine down by where I live and they've been planning to build a new Tongue River Railroad for years and years and we're tying to stop that."

Advocates of coal mining in the Powder River Basin say it creates good paying jobs for Montanans.

They say it also brings in millions of dollars of revenue that are in turn put back into community infrastructure and local economies.

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