Archive: 2016

Standing up, speaking out, and fighting for things we love

December 29, 2016
In today's uncertain political climate, many of us are thinking about how we can truly make a difference for our communities. As a long-time member of the Northern Plains Resource Council I've been fortunate to witness the many ways in which Montanans can affect how things turn out – standing up, speaking out, and fighting for the things they love about Montana. While I may not always be able to participate at this level, I can rest assured that there’s...
Categories: AgricultureClean EnergyCoalGood Neighbor AgreementHide BlogHomegrown ProsperityNorthern Plains Resource CouncilOil & GasPlains SpeakingTongue River RailroadUncategorized


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Press release: Resource councils welcome release of Stream Protection Rule – Dec. 19, 2016

December 20, 2016
By Western Organization of Resource Councils BILLINGS, Mont. - Today, the Department of Interior and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement released the final Stream Protection Rule. The rule, which is designed to prevent water degradation by utilizing the best available science and technology, marks the first national update to water protections from coal mining in three decades. Notable improvements from the rule include requiring mine operators and states to collect more thorough baseline data on water resources to...
Categories: AgricultureClean WaterCoalCongressLandowner RightsNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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A year in review

December 19, 2016
As the final weeks of 2016 are winding down, it’s time to take a breath and recall what a year it has been. While we are hunkering down for winter and preparing for all that 2017 will bring, this is the time to remember all of our wins and achievements from this year: The end of the Tongue River Railroad! After 42 years of fighting, this terrible project was shut down, much to...
Categories: CoalGood Neighbor AgreementHomegrown ProsperityPlains SpeakingTongue River RailroadUncategorized


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Letter: Oil, gas board should take a stand – Billings Gazette, Dec. 16, 2016

December 16, 2016
The Board of Oil and Gas Conservation is the regulatory body that issues permits to drill oil and gas wells in Montana. Their job is to ensure that companies play by the rules when they drill in our state, and “prevent oil and gas operations from harming nearby land or underground resources” (from the BOGC website). This is critical, since many of the companies that come before them are based out-of-state. You want to drill for Montana’s resources? You...
Categories: Landowner RightsLettersNewsOil and gas


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Press release: Board of Oil and Gas Conservation adopts drilling notification – Dec. 14, 2016

December 14, 2016
New rule increases transparency in Montana oil industry Northern Plains Resource Council Today, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation voted 4-3 to adopt a rule requiring oil and gas operators to notify landowners within ¼ mile of a proposed oil or gas well. With the adoption of this rule, notification of neighboring landowners will have to occur before wells are permitted so neighbors have the opportunity to comment on projects while they are still in the planning phase. “It has been...
Categories: AgricultureClean WaterNewsNorthern Plains Resource CouncilOil and gas


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Billings Gazette opinion: Montana oil and gas drillers should give notice to neighbors – Dec. 14, 2016

December 14, 2016
Dec. 14, 2016 Montanans place a high value on their right to know what their government is doing. The Montana Board of Oil and Gas has the opportunity at its meeting today in Billings to ensure that owners of “occupied structures” receive written notice before the board permits drilling within a quarter mile of the structure. For those of us who own homes or businesses, the proposed notification rule is a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to know that drilling is proposed...
Categories: AgricultureClean WaterNewsNewspaper editorialNorthern Plains Resource CouncilOil and gas


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‘Good Neighbor Agreement’ to survive Stillwater sale, conservation group says – Montana Public Radio, Dec. 9, 2016

December 12, 2016
WITH AUDIO A Montana conservation group says it expects a special environmental protection agreement it signed with Stillwater Mining to remain in effect after the sale of the company, which was finalized today. In 2000, previous company owners signed a "good neighbor agreement" with Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council. The agreement lays out specific environmental protections beyond what government regulations require. Jerry Iverson of Big Timber chairs the Resource Council's good neighbor task force. "I don't anticipate a need to change the agreement,"...
Categories: Hardrock MiningNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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South African company to acquire Stillwater Mining Company for $2.2 billion – Billings Gazette Dec. 10, 2016

December 12, 2016
By Erik Olson Stillwater Mining Co. announced Friday a deal to sell to a South African mining company for $2.2 billion, which would effectively end Stillwater’s two-decade run as a publicly-traded firm. Sibanye Gold Limited agreed to pay $18 per share in cash for Columbus-based Stillwater, Montana’s largest mining company. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017. The sales price represents a 61 percent premium over Stillwater’s average sales price over the last 52 weeks and a...
Categories: Hardrock MiningNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Environmentalists brace for Trump rules for fossil fuels – Billings Gazette, Dec. 2, 2016

December 2, 2016
By Tom Lutey Environmentalists from Montana to British Columbia are bracing for changes in fossil fuel policy under the Trump presidency. Representatives from three Western states and Canada said Wednesday that they expect new momentum for coal and oil shipping ports, pipelines and mining. Bozeman resident Beth Kaeding, a past chairman of the Northern Plains Resource Council, said she hoped president-elect Donald Trump wouldn’t end the federal government’s suspension of coal leasing. The Department of the Interior banned new leases earlier this...
Categories: Clean EnergyClimate changeCoalCongressFossil FuelsNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Letter: Is PACE the future for Montana families? – Nov. 26, 2016, Bozeman Daily Chronicle

November 29, 2016
Many of us want to see a better future for Montana’s working families. I just recently learned about Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and wanted to pass along what I know so far. PACE is a way to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to existing buildings. These projects are funded by banks and investors and are repaid through property assessments over a term of up to 20 years. Why does this help families and small businesses?...
Categories: Clean EnergyLegislatureLettersNews


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