Hold this dirty mine accountable

What's At Stake

The operator of the Bull Mountains Mine, an underground coal mine north of Billings, Montana, has engaged in habitual criminal activity, well-documented corruption, and repeated violations of health and safety standards. The New York Times just dropped a bombshell story on Signal Peak Energy, a company tied to a laundry list of criminal activities, including cocaine trafficking, firearms violations, worker safety and environmental violations, embezzlement, tax evasion, and money laundering. Tell Interior Secretary Deb Haaland of the Department of the Interior to halt Signal Peak Energy’s operations at Bull Mountains Mine!

The Bull Mountains Mine is the seventh largest underground coal mine in the United States by production, generating approximately 6 million tons of coal each year — but it aspires to ramp up its annual production and take the first-place. Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved an expansion of the mine in 2013 and the U.S. Office of Surface Mining approved mining of federal coal shortly after. This expansion would increase the coal mine’s footprint by 7,000 acres, allowing Signal Peak Energy to tap into 176 million additional tons of coal; an amount that — if burned — would make it the largest single source of climate pollution in the United States, according to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both decisions to approve the expansion were found to be unlawful by state regulators and federal courts, but mining operations continued without interruption.

This isn’t the only unlawful activity Signal Peak Energy is up to. The company was recently levied a criminal sentence, including a $1 million fine and three-years’ probation, after pleading guilty to violating health and safety standards. They illegally dumped toxic slurry waste and bribed one of their employees to refrain from reporting a workplace injury.

Given that Signal Peak Energy will continue to inflict material damages on our land, water, air, and climate in combination with the company’s affronts to ethical standards and local livelihoods — allowing this corrupt company to proceed with mining operations is unacceptable. Send a letter today to Secretary Haaland, urging her to halt Signal Peak Energy’s operations at Bull Mountains Mine!

A mechanized shovel loads a haul truck that can carry up to 250 tons of coal.
A mechanized shovel loads a haul truck that can carry up to 250 tons of coal. (Matthew Brown / AP)

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