Recently Lori Shaw, director of Colstrip United, presented a column in the Missoulian titled “Colstrip not included in coal event.” The event, a PowerPoint presentation by two University of Montana students addressing the current state of affairs at the Colstrip power plant and issues surrounding the closing of this facility, although lightly attended, did include two Colstrip residents in the audience.

Shaw described the discussion as “the Sierra Club’s latest attempt at spreading misinformation and one-sided propaganda.” This is entirely untrue. We have an existential crisis worsening before our eyes. The costs from climate-related disasters last year in the U.S. alone were the worst ever. The need to get off fossil fuels goes far beyond the loss of good-paying jobs in Colstrip, far beyond possible lost tax revenues for the state of Montana.

I appreciate the efforts of the Sierra Club and other organizations in trying to push this country’s energy policy away from fossil fuels. Shaw claims that her organization, Colstrip United, “stands for common-sense solutions.” The only real common-sense solution to the existential crisis we face is to get off all fossil fuels as quickly as possible. And that starts with coal.

Jim Roach,