Archive: December, 2014

Press release: Northern Plains to push for landowner protections, expansion of clean energy in 2015 Legislature – Dec. 22, 2014

December 22, 2014
By Northern Plains Resource Council Protecting landowner rights and expanding consumers’ access to clean energy, such as solar and wind, lead the list of legislative proposals that the Northern Plains Resource Council hopes to advance during the 2015 Montana Legislature. Some of the legislation already has bipartisan support. Northern Plains is a conservation and family agriculture group based in Billings. Oil and gas priorities “These are common sense changes in the law,” said Terry Punt, a Birney-area rancher and a member of...
Categories: Clean EnergyClean WaterClimate changeFossil FuelsLandowner RightsLegislatureNewsNorthern Plains Resource CouncilOil and gas


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Fossil-fuel industry spent big to set anti-environment agenda of next Congress – Center for American Progress, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014
By Claire Moser & Matt Lee‐Ashley A legislative rider that was quietly attached to a major defense funding bill earlier this month marked a watershed change in the political fortunes of the coal, oil, and gas industries and their return to power in Washington, D.C. The rider—which turns the Bull Mountains in Montana over to a Koch-connected, Houston-based company to be strip mined for coal—is the fossil-fuel industry’s first major payoff from a three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar investment to secure Republican control of Congress and...
Categories: Clean EnergyCoalLegislatureNews


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Obama hits Keystone again but declines to threaten veto – Policito, Dec. 19, 2014

December 19, 2014
By ANDREW RESTUCCIA President Barack Obama poured cold water once again on the alleged economic benefits of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Friday — a theme he has sounded frequently in the past few months, increasing speculation that he will eventually kill the project. Obama said at his year-end news conference that the Alberta-to-Texas project would have “very little” effect on gasoline prices and do little to improve the economy. He acknowledged that building the pipeline would create a “couple thousand” temporary jobs,...
Categories: CongressNewsPipeline


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U.S. plans to shut royalty loophole on coal exports – Reuters, Dec. 19, 2014

December 19, 2014
By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON - U.S. coal companies will no longer be able to settle royalties at low domestic prices when they make lucrative sales to Asia according to reforms proposed by the Interior Department on Friday. American taxpayers by law are due a 12.5 percent royalty on the sales of millions of tons of coal pulled each year from federal land that mining companies lease. In past years of strong global demand, U.S. miners have been able to avoid a royalty...
Categories: CoalHide BlogNewsPlains Speaking


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Carbon County approves citizen initiated zone to check oil/gas development – Carbon County News, Dec. 18, 2014

December 19, 2014
http://www.carboncountynews.com/content/carbon-county-approves-citizen-initiated-zone-check-oilgas-development By Eleanor Guerrero On Monday, Dec. 15, the Carbon County Commissioners took the first step towards citizen initiated zoning in the Belfry area by unanimously approving their intent to create a citizen-initiated zone. Petitioners believe it will protect included landowners from unchecked oil and gas development. The Commissioners found that the zone is “in the public interest and convenience for public health, safety and welfare, and for public infrastructure.” “We’re very excited to move forward on this process,” said Bonnie Martinell,...
Categories: AgricultureClean WaterLandowner RightsNewsOil and gas


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Press release: Carbon County approves zone to protect landowners from unchecked oil and gas development, Dec. 15, 2014

December 15, 2014
By Northern Plains Resource Council RED LODGE, Mont. -- The Carbon County Commissioners gave the go ahead today to create a citizen-initiated zone to protect landowners from unchecked oil and gas development. Commissioners found that the zone is “in the public interest and convenience for public health, safety and welfare, and for public infrastructure.” “We’re very excited to move forward on this process,” said Bonnie Martinell, a Belfry organic farmer and member of the Carbon County Resource Council. “We’ll continue to...
Categories: AgricultureClean WaterLandowner RightsNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Letter: Not labeling GMO foods is a mistake – Billings Gazette, Dec. 14, 2014

December 15, 2014
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/not-labeling-gmo-foods-is-a-mistake/article_07308038-34f1-5bfa-983c-de70e751c4df.html I am confused about the GMO labeling initiatives and would sincerely like to understand why there is opposition to simply labeling food that it contains genetically modified food? These initiatives are not to decide whether we think it is OK or not. They are simply to make sure we know what our food contains. We require other information on our labels — no gluten, no dairy, quantities of salt, etc. Why is there opposition to knowing if there are GMO products...
Categories: AgricultureFoodNews


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Letter: Arguments against renewables don’t hold water – Billings Gazette, Dec. 14, 2014

December 15, 2014
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/arguments-against-renewables-don-t-hold-water/article_98196ef8-a8a8-5087-ae57-18187274ed2a.html#ixzz3Lsp3fYj4 The Nov. 21 guest opinion by Bob Winger regarding the coal industry presented a number of arguments that simply don't hold up under the weight of scrutiny. Winger's assertion that any further regulation on coal power plants would inhibit the industry's ingenuity and adaptability actually speaks to the fact that the coal industry is unable to compete in today's marketplace. Coal companies are in trouble because demand is shrinking in the U.S., and more efficient, cheaper technology is now available. Additionally, the...
Categories: Clean EnergyCoalLettersNews


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Wind and solar are much less financially risky than other power projects – Grist, Dec. 11, 2014

December 15, 2014
http://grist.org/climate-energy/wind-and-solar-are-much-less-financially-risky-than-other-power-projects/ By David Roberts Here in Seattle, we are in the midst of a truly epic fustercluck. We’re trying to build a huge tunnel beneath our downtown and it is not going well, to put it mildly. If only someone had warned us! (Like, I don’t know, a mayor.) Our own Nate Johnson has written about the propensity of transportation megaprojects to blow past their projected budgets. But what about my own personal obsession, power projects? Think, for instance, of the Kemper power plant in Mississippi, which is still under construction...
Categories: Clean EnergyNews


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Letter: Keystone XL pipeline’s benefits do not outweigh the costs of seizing private property – Billings Gazette, Dec. 7, 2014

December 11, 2014
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/keystone-xl-pipeline-s-benefits-do-not-outweigh-the-costs/article_049f3cef-cd8c-50a0-820a-5497bed6ba97.html#ixzz3LcvkDXUj I find it disturbing that The Gazette has editorially endorsed the taking, through federal condemnation, of private property for the XL pipeline. It apparently isn't a concern that the newspaper and a batch of politicians approve of a foreign (Canadian) entity exercising eminent domain from border to border of the U.S. for a product that will then be shipped overseas. Since The Gazette has such great faith in the precautions listed in the conditions in the permit to protect damages...
Categories: AgricultureCoalCongressLandowner RightsOil and gasPipeline


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NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154
info@northernplains.org