Archive for Natural Resources


The Will of the People

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Voters in Montana have rejected cyanide heap leach open-pit mining not once, but twice. A environmentally destructive process that uses cyanide to extract tiny amounts of precious metals from large amounts of rock.

Today, the House gave initial approval to a bill that would undo the repeated will of Montanans and allow this process in the state once again.

This bill would be incredibly damaging to our environment. It would pollute our rivers and streams, destroy our mountains and injure our animals. This would ruin our lands that Montanans can use to recreate and would also severely damage our important tourism industry.

While the environmental impacts of this bill are bad enough, this bill also tells us something important about the mindset of Republicans in the legislature. The simple fact that they would introduce legislation that flies in the face of the expressed will of Montana voters is an insult enough. However, the fact that this bill is quickly making its way to the Governor’s desk, sends a clear message from Republicans to Montana voters; they think they know better than we do.

This type of arrogance has no place in our politics. Republican legislators need to be reminded that they work for us.

Categories : Natural Resources

The Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee today heard Senator Kendall Van Dyk’s bill that would increase the amount of energy that power companies must produce from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Currently, these companies must get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2015. If this bill is signed into law, these companies would be required to produce 25 percent of there power from these sources by 2025.

This bill serves two purposes. First, it will help to maintain a clean environment in Montana, this will let Montanans keep the beautiful state they’ve come to enjoy and will help our tourism industry continue to thrive. It will also bring new jobs and businesses to the state.The initial standards for renewal energy in the state was passed in 2005. After its passage, more than 600 jobs were created across the state. These jobs served to boost the economies of Montana’s rural communities.

Sen. Van Dyk’s bill will also lead to lower costs for consumers. Under these standards, energy production companies will be able to purchase less foreign sources of energy. Instead, they’ll be able to rely more on wind and the sun. Which we have plenty of here in Montana.

This is the type of legislation that Montanans want to see from lawmakers. It has a proven track record of success. It creates jobs. It maintains the environmental quality of the state. And it does all of this, without costing the taxpayers money.

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