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Steve Daines claims he wants to represent Montana in the Senate. He claims that he wants what is best for Montana. He claims that coal will be good for Montana. Well, Daines is either poorly informed or cheerleading for the coal industry. He is running for senator claiming to want to work for Montana citizens, yet instead supports the wealthy owners of coal industry.

The Montana economy is strong and our unemployment rate is low. The number of jobs that coal provides to Montanans is minimal. The largest percentile of income in the state is earned by farming and ranching. After those is tourism. Yet coal extraction harms these important industries. It is also dwindling as a source of our nation's energy. The only new market for coal is in Asia. This is why coal companies are now considered poor investments. Washington's Gov. Inslee wants to eliminate coal as a source of his state's energy. Let's face it — coal is the energy source of the past. It is the greatest contributor to climate change, which we are finally addressing as a nation with the new environmental rules requiring upgrades to coal fired energy plants.

Yet Daines shills for this diminishing, dirty and damaging industry. The future of energy is in renewable energy, which provides jobs for Montanans across the state. With less coal mining in the future, more clean energy and jobs develop. This fact renders the argument that coal provides jobs wrong. Yet Daines continues to praise coal. Who is he really working for?

Deb Fischer

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Billings

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