Tester stood up to coal companies

March 10, 2017 GMT

I know things have been tough for coal companies lately. The industry is in a long-term decline and its future looks dark indeed. Still, it must be nice for coal companies to have so many politicians willing to give them whatever they want.

Here in Montana, that includes a state Legislature that’s more than willing to go to bat for the coal industry, including using our tax dollars to subsidize it. At the federal level, the Office of Surface Mining put together a rule last year to reduce water pollution from coal mining. It mostly affected coal mines in Appalachia, but also would have protected water in the West. Congress made sure to repeal the Stream Protection Rule as soon as they convened. But not every politician is in the coal industry’s hip pocket.

Jon Tester deserves a pat on the back for voting to uphold the Stream Protection Rule and protect Montana’s water resources. Standing up to the coal industry isn’t easy for a Montana politician. It takes guts.

Janet McMillan