Proposals for coal and coalbed methane development in the Flathead River watershed in south eastern British Columbia, are resulting in calls for a halt from Montana.
In a resolution passed Monday, the Montana Flathead Basin Commission requested “the British Columbia government to immediately defer any action on coal bed methane and coal mining proposals until completion of a comprehensive assessment by the International Joint Commission.” link
The New York Times says, “…environmentalists, biologists and Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, have vowed to block the proposal. ‘If they want to pursue a full-scale operation that could devastate one of our most pristine and valuable areas for recreation and wildlife, then they’re asking for a fight,‘ Mr. Baucus said. He has written to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell asking him to express concern to the Canadians.” link
There are very close parallels to the Similkameen River, which will be affected by coalbed methane development in the Princeton and Tulameen coalfields. The Similkameen is also an international river, flowing into Washington State and the Columbia River system. link
These US calls for a halt to coalbed methane development, echo those from Fernie (March 2004), the Union of BC Municipalities (Sept 2003), Comox-Strathcona Regional District (June 2003), Peace River Regional District (March 2003).
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