K. Ross Toole Interview, November 12, 1976


K. Ross Toole


Walter Gallacher



Download Audio Interview (50.1 MB)

Download Transcript of K. Ross Toole Interview (304 KB)


K. Ross Toole discusses energy issues on the Great Plains—Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming—and the resource extraction’s impacts on people and the environment. He describes state and federal agencies that regulate coal mining and power, such as the Department of Natural Resource Conservation, the Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Montana Public Service Commission. He talks about coal and oil companies’ power over both the Montana state and U.S. government, as well as the upcoming OPEC meeting and its influence on U.S. and European economies. Toole discusses environmental groups’ effectiveness, and the effects of environmental contamination on people and the environment. He recalls the Anaconda Company’s Bliss arsenic poisoning case, and discusses the ineffectiveness of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969. He compares Progressive Era movements to current regulatory issues, and asserts that the United States can mine and drill safely while still providing jobs.


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Document Type

Oral History


Energy industry; Great Plains; Coal industry; Oil industry; Department of Natural Resource Conservation; U.S. Forest Service; Environmental Protection Agency; Montana Public Service Commission; Northern Plains Resource Council; Flathead Coalition; U.S. Steel; OPEC; Anaconda Company; Bliss Case; Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act; Progressive Era; Mineral industry; Law and legislation; Natural resource conservation

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Forestry, Land Use, and Conservation Oral History Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 139-001

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (60 min.): analog + 1 transcript (12 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:40:52 minutes

Local Filename

OH_139_001.mp3; OH_139_001.pdf

K. Ross Toole Interview, November 12, 1976