Montana is number one in coal reserves, in the top two in wind energy, has vast timber (biomass) resources, and has significant oil and gas reserves. Montana also has one of the strongest agricultural bases in the nation.
I am a strong supporter, invested participant, and advocate of utilizing Montana’s vast natural resources for the benefit of all Montanans. One of the best ways to create a strong Montana economy with good paying jobs is to promote the exportation of grain and cattle on trucks and trains, oil and gas in pipelines, and electricity via high voltage power lines.
Over the last eight sessions I have been the key sponsor of significant components of energy legislation designed to help develop Montana resources. I have cut energy taxes on oil production, transmission, private property that incurs transmission easements, and wind energy development.
I was honored to receive the Rural Electric Coop Association “Champion of Power” award. Conversely, I received a 0 from the radical environmental group MEIC and low scores from other environmental groups that do not support a vision of natural resource and energy development for Montana.
Montana is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in our nation’s quest for energy independence. We have some of the largest share oil reserves in the nation, we are #1 in coal reserves, we are ranked in the top four in wind resources, we have abundant timber and biomass, and we have huge agricultural potential. Our children and grandchildren will be free of the shackles of foreign instability and greed. Montana’s incredible resource potential (Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Timber, Wind, Agriculture, and Precious Metals) will become the engine of job creation by supplying products that are in worldwide demand. Over the last decade, I have successfully carried and passed major legislation in this area, including reducing taxes and regulations on natural resource development.
Key examples include:
1) HB 535 reduced taxes on stripper oil wells,
2) HB3 Created tax incentives for energy development
3) HB 529 General revised MEPA to support additional development 4) SB 206 Made it transmission siting fairer to land owners
5) SB 320 Clarify Major Facility Siting act to allow expansion of existing transmission lines.
The bottom line is that, even with the challenge of a Republican Legislature working with a Democratic Executive, I found a way to provide real solutions for Montana.