In the Northwest, rising coal exports to Asia stir huge fight

Allison Roberts News

DECKER, Mont. —

At Spring Creek Mine, a broad black seam of coal, reaching depths of 80 feet, runs like a subterranean river through arid, sagebrush-covered hills.

This is a world-class seam formed from the remnants of ferns, grasses and other plants that flourished here more than 50 million years ago, when this part of Montana was a humid marsh.

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