Western Organization of Resource Councils

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The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) is a regional network of seven grassroots community organizations that include 9,500 members and 45 local chapters. The organization's mission is to create sustainable communities that balance economic growth with public health and the protection of natural resources.[1]

Targeted coal plant proposals

Group details

Location: Headquarters in Billings, MT
Group website: Western Organization of Resource Councils
Contact: billings [at] worc.org

Report released outlining risks and costs of Powder River Basin coal mining expansion

A report released in January 2011 by the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) titled Exporting Power River Basin Coal: Risks and Costs laid out several negative environmental impacts from expanding PRB coal mines and exports.

First, WORC noted that an increase in greenhouse gas emissions would ultimately occur, contributing to global warming, stating that "Exporting 140 million tons a year would produce roughly 280 million tons of CO2 per year." Second, WORC wrote that a coal mining increase would impact the local environment and surrounding communities, citing in particular air quality degradation due to an increase in particulate matter and land and water strains.[2]

WORC also reported that new rail lines would cause disruption to farm and ranch land and could negatively impact migratory animal corridors. More railways would also impact public safety with an increase in the potential for accidents. Diesel pollution would also increase because trucks and vehicle transportation would expand. Coal Dust was also noted as increasing due to mine expansions, which could cause harm to water and people.[2]



  1. About Us, Western Organization of Resource Councils website, accessed March 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 [http://www.worc.org/userfiles/file/Coal/Exporting_Powder_River_Basin_Coal_Risks_and_Cost.pdf "Exporting Power River Basin Coal: Risks and Costs" Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), January 2011.

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