Archive: March, 2013

Guest opinion: Oil, gas tax holiday is unfair – The Montana Standard, March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013
http://mtstandard.com/news/opinion/oil-gas-tax-holiday-is-unfair/article_fa626644-9812-11e2-b19c-001a4bcf887a.html By Julie French I’ve lived in eastern Montana my whole life, seeing how frustrating economic development is for entire communities. So, nobody has to convince me that the Bakken oil boom is a welcome form of economic development. But does my support for oil and gas development mean I ignore a fundamental Montana value – fairness? Yet there’s no question that Montana’s existing tax code is grossly unfair as it applies to oil and gas production. I’m a mineral owner. I, along...
Categories: LegislatureOil and gasPlains Speaking


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Guest editorial: Local and global impacts of coal – Whitefish Pilot, March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013
http://www.flatheadnewsgroup.com/whitefishpilot/article_f2bee696-9705-11e2-ad48-0019bb2963f4.html By Steve Thompson Clint McRae’s family has ranched Montana’s Tongue River Valley for 135 years. Now two powerful corporations are asking the federal government to seize a nine mile swath of his land — and to turn it over to them — so they can export coal to China. McRae’s Rocker Six Ranch sits at the epicenter of a great constitutional and ethical dispute. Should government powers be granted to Arch Coal so it may forcibly take McRae’s land to build...
Categories: AgricultureCoalEventsNewsNorthern Plains Resource CouncilPlains Speaking


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Coal use in China begins to hit home: Potential jump in train traffic subject of forum – Great Falls Tribune, March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20130326/NEWS01/303260033/Coal-use-China-begins-hit-home-Potential-jump-train-traffic-subject-forum By Karl Puckett Conservation groups warned Tuesday that north central Montana residents could see a significant increase in rail shipments of coal through the area if more coal is developed in southeastern Montana, as proposed, and shipped to the West Coast for export to Asia. “People just need to be aware this is something that could be happening to them,” said Beth Kaeding of the Northern Plains Resource Council, which arranged a forum on coal car traffic with Citizens for Clean...
Categories: AgricultureCoalEventsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Press release: Ranchers, conservationists praise federal agency decision to study coal-to-China railroad – March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013
Surface Transportation Board Decision Document: http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/fc695db5bc7ebe2c852572b80040c45f/b72de182f5e0673a85257b33006cc07a?OpenDocument By Northern Plains Resource Council Last Friday, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) released its decision to study the impacts of the proposed Tongue River Railroad from the mine to the ports on the West Coast. This decision met praise from members of Northern Plains Resource Council who have worked for three decades to prevent the railroad from industrializing a ranching valley. “We are happy the STB realized that the effects of this railroad and the mine it...
Categories: AgricultureCoalNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Letter: Train danger – Great Falls Tribune, March 21, 2013

March 26, 2013
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20130320/OPINION/303200033/On-our-minds-Gays-Pat-trains Recently, I sat in my car, peering south toward Mount Helena watching the sunset. I was held up on Benton as a westbound train barreled by. It is unfair to say just the train held me up, as there were more than a dozen cars ahead of me. Checking my side view showed just as many parked behind me backing up traffic all the way onto Custer. I cross these tracks at least twice daily. Sitting there, it hit...
Categories: CoalLetters


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Letter: It’s time to modify oil and gas tax ‘holiday’ – Billings Gazette, March 24, 2013

March 25, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/it-s-time-to-modify-oil-and-gas-tax-holiday/article_0d493dd1-ccab-569a-a5fa-6431418d52e4.html With tax season coming up, there is an opportunity for Montanans to not only focus on who is paying, but also to point out those who don’t have to pay taxes. This year, I feel we should turn our focus to the oil and gas companies that do not pay even 1 percent in taxes the first 12 to 18 months they work in Montana. Why? The answer goes back to the early '90s when our Legislature wanted to induce these companies...
Categories: LettersOil and gas


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Group says exports to Asia could hike coal traffic through Great Falls – Great Falls Tribune, March 22, 2013

March 25, 2013
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20130323/NEWS01/303230005/Group-says-exports-Asia-could-hike-coal-traffic-through-Great-Falls By Karl Puckett A conservation and agriculture group has scheduled a meeting Tuesday in Great Falls to discuss what it claims would be increasedrail congestion in Montana if proposals to ship more Montana and Wyoming coal to Asia via West Coast ports are realized. A spokeswoman for BNSF Railway takes issue with some of the group’s projections and says increased traffic, if it occurs, will not derail agricultural shipments. Beth Kaeding of Bozeman, a member of Northern Plains Resource Council’s coal task force,...
Categories: AgricultureCoalEventsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Guest opinion: Tax holiday no longer makes sense in oil patch – Billings Gazette, March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/guest/guest-opinion-tax-holiday-no-longer-makes-sense-in-oil/article_66554998-cdfe-57b4-be43-a418233b0b97.html By Pat Wilson When a bunch of oil and gas executives fly in from out of state and line up at a legislative hearing and say they couldn’t possibly do business in Montana if they had to pay production taxes (like they would anywhere else), my flimflam alarm goes off. When the Legislature enacted the tax holiday for oil and gas drillers, oil prices had been hovering between $11 and $16 per barrel. Today, oil is above $90 a barrel. North...
Categories: LegislatureOil and gasPlains Speaking


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Coal damages human health, says N.Y. physician – Billings Gazette, March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/coal-damages-human-health-says-n-y-physician/article_1fc596d5-92e1-5f14-bda3-3f51917aefbc.html By Mary Pickett Coal most often is discussed in terms of economic development in Montana and Wyoming. That conversation should include coal’s high cost to people’s health, a physician who wrote the book on the subject said in Billings Monday. Alan Lockwood, emeritus professor of neurology and nuclear medicine at the University of Buffalo in New York, talked to about 20 health professionals at the Billings Clinic about how mining, transportation and particularly burning of coal damages human health. Lockwood wrote “The Silent...
Categories: CoalCoal ashFossil Fuels


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News advisory: Great Falls public forum to look at effects of increased coal trains – March 26, 2013

March 18, 2013
Great Falls Coal Forum 6:30-8 pm Tuesday, March 26 Great Falls Public Library 301 2nd Ave. N. Northern Plains press release Is Montana becoming a coal colony for China? Join us for a free public forum and community conversation March 26 on increased coal traffic from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming to Asian countries. Great Falls would see an increase in coal train traffic heading to five proposed West Coast coal ports. Find out about the proposals and how you can have...
Categories: AgricultureCoalEventsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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