Environmentalists putting coal plants on trial

Billings, MT – In federal and state courtrooms across the country, environmental groups are putting coal-fueled power plants on trial. They hope to slow the industry's biggest construction boom in decades.

An Associated Press tally shows at least four dozen coal plants are being contested in 29 states, including two in Wyoming.

The targeted utilities include giants like Peabody Energy and American Electric Power, as well as small rural co-ops.

Industry representatives say the environmental challenges threaten to undermine the country's fragile power grid, setting the stage for a future of high-priced electricity and uncontrollable blackouts.

Coal plants provide just over 50 percent of the nation's electricity. They are also the largest domestic source of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Wyoming is the nation's leading coal producing state.