Montana lines up with Arch Coal to defend mine


BILLINGS — The state of Montana and Arch Coal, Inc. will line up together in state court Tuesday against environmental groups seeking to derail the company's plan to mine a 1.3 billion ton reserve within the most productive coal region of the country.

St. Louis-based Arch has paid $159 million to the state and Great Northern Properties to lease the Otter Creek coal tracts, located near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

The deal has received strong backing from Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat who wants to capitalize on the vast coal deposits in the Powder River Basin along the...

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