AP: Daines hosts coal meeting after Montana left out by feds

Montana residents can comment on a potential overhaul of the federal government’s coal leasing program during a Tuesday meeting hosted by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines.

Montana has the largest coal resources in the nation. But the Treasure State was left off an Interior Department list of events where the public was asked to weigh in on the changes.

Daines told The Associated Press the government proposal could have a major impact on the state’s economy and affect the livelihoods of thousands of people.

The Republican lawmaker says comments at Tuesday’s meeting at Montana State University in Billings will be recorded, transcribed and submitted to the Interior Department.

Both supporters and critics of the industry plan to attend.

New coal lease sales are suspended during the government’s years-long review process.