Montana often is known as "big sky country." But ask any local, and they'll tell you the phrase "big coal country" is just as fitting.
Along with Wyoming, Montana is home to the Powder River Basin—a region that boasts some of the biggest coal mines in the world. The two states account for 40 percent of all the coal produced in the U.S.
So if you thought coal was a fading fuel—upstaged by natural gas and solar panels to power homes and businesses—guess again.