Archive: August, 2013

AG blasts proposed BLM ‘fracking’ regulations – Montana Public Radio, August 30, 2013

August 30, 2013
http://kufm.org/post/ag-blasts-proposed-blm-fracking-regulations INCLUDES AUDIO with more quotes from Northern Plains member Deborah Hanson By Dan Boyce Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is formally protesting new proposed ‘fracking’ regulations from the Bureau of Land Management. He signed a letter last Friday to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell along with four other Attorneys General—from Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma and West Virginia expressing strong objections to these new hydraulic fracturing rules being considered by the BLM. In a press release, Fox says the states signing the letter already...
Categories: NewsNorthern Plains Resource CouncilOil and gas


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Mercury fingerprint of Pacific fish points to Asia coal power plants – Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2013

August 29, 2013
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-mercury-fingerprint-fish-20130827,0,4685274.story By Geoffrey Mohan Mercury found in high levels in deep Pacific Ocean fish such as swordfish has a chemical fingerprint, and it implicates coal-burning power plants in Asia, according to a new study. A research team from the universities of Hawaii and Michigan looked at mercury in the flesh of nine species common to the massive North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, the largest ecosystem on the planet, at 7 million square miles. Four years ago, the team found that mercury levels in such...
Categories: Clean WaterClimate changeCoalFood


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Pair of experts say feds are leasing Powder River Basin coal at bargain-basement prices – Lee Newspapers, August 22, 2013

August 22, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/pair-of-experts-say-feds-are-leasing-powder-river-basin/article_1a629ece-deb2-546f-894b-de07ad0b071d.html By Mike Dennison HELENA — The federal government has been underpricing its coal in southeastern Montana’s Powder River Basin for decades, and it’s time to stop the giveaway to the coal industry, a pair of experts said Wednesday. “The government was supposed to drive the (coal) leasing program that would maximize return (for the public),” said Mark Squillace, director of the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado. “Instead, the process is driven by the coal industry. “They decide how much...
Categories: CoalLegislatureNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Expert: Changing coal markets shortchange Montana – Public News Service, Aug. 20, 2013

August 20, 2013
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/34098-1 Deborah Courson Smith BILLINGS, Mont. - Nearly 5 billion tons of federal coal is in some phase of leasing or sale in the Powder River Basin, with much of it being offered to export markets. It could be a golden opportunity for Montana to beef up revenues, but according to a coal market expert speaking today in Billings, federal leasing programs are in need of updates. Tom Sanzillo, director of finance for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis,...
Categories: CoalCongressNews


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Farmer warns about GM wheat, corporate ag – Billings Outpost, August 15, 2013

August 16, 2013
http://www.billingsnews.com/index.php/local-news/4646-farmer-warns-about-gm-wheat-corporate-ag By Betty Whiting League of Women Voters Ressa Charter, a third-generation Montana farmer from the Roundup Bull Mountains, spoke Thursday, Aug. 1, to the League of Women Voters of Billings on agricultural policies. Charter is the chairman of the Northern Plains Resource Council agricultural task force. He began his presentation by talking about genetically modified grains. This year, GM wheat appeared in Oregon, even though none was planted in that area as Monsanto, which holds the patent on GM wheat, ended field...
Categories: AgricultureEvents


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Letter: Low tax rates don’t lure oil, coal development – Billings Gazette, Aug. 12, 2013

August 12, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/low-tax-rates-don-t-lure-oil-coal-development/article_44f9d64a-d021-5ef8-836e-a0d6fb5e0442.html Sen. Matt Rosendale criticizes the governor for appointing me to the Coal Board (Aug. 5 letter) because I was responsible for the 30 percent coal tax "that nearly killed Montana's coal industry." In fact, the coal industry nearly killed the coal tax. Taxes on natural resources do not interfere with the development of natural resources — even if they are as high as 30 percent. The important question is the location of the natural resources. It is a little like selling...
Categories: CoalLettersOil and gas


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Letter: Bullock shows support for Montana energy – Billings Gazette, Aug. 12, 2013

August 12, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/bullock-shows-support-for-montana-energy/article_f87a40a2-6546-547d-aa60-b50803a93c2f.html Sen. Matt Rosendale of Glendive (Aug. 5 letter) is upset by Gov. Steve Bullock’s appointments to the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation and the Coal Board, but the reasons he offers simply do not hold water. First he states that Peggy Ames Nerud should not be appointed to the BOGC because she wrote an editorial urging elimination of the tax holiday that has been in place since the 1990s to “encourage energy production.” Research shows that 1991 saw the highest...
Categories: CoalLettersOil and gas


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Billings Gazette opinion: Fresh perspective good for Coal Board, state – Aug. 5, 2013

August 5, 2013
http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion/gazette-opinion-fresh-perspective-good-for-coal-board-state/article_1c618187-8882-5afb-912f-66c921270647.html [Note: Tom Towe is a longtime member of Northern Plains Resource Council] For years, some Yellowstone County leaders concerned about access to coal impact funds have asked Montana governors to appoint a county resident to the Coal Board. County Commissioner Bill Kennedy and Rep. Margie MacDonald, D-Billings, were among those who asked Gov. Steve Bullock to appoint the first Yellowstone County resident. “There’s a misguided myth that Yellowstone County is not impacted,” MacDonald said last week. “We’ve always wanted a voice on the...
Categories: CoalEditorialLegislatureMember newsNewspaper editorial


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Montana governor picks Circle rancher for oil board – The Associated Press, July 31, 2013

August 4, 2013
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/viewart/20130731/NEWS01/307310011/Montana-governor-picks-Circle-rancher-oil-board HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock is picking a Circle rancher for the open seat on the Montana Board of Oil and Gas. The governor’s office said Tuesday that Peggy Nerud will take over the vacant slot. The governor’s office says Nerud is a mineral owner. During the past legislative session she helped out the Northern Plains Resource Council, which listed her as a citizen lobbyist. [Nerud was one of 30 citizen lobbyists, a term Northern Plains uses for any member who...
Categories: Landowner RightsLegislatureMember newsNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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Montana coal export trains to be included in Northwest coal port study – Public News Service, Aug. 1, 2013

August 1, 2013
By Debbie Courson Smith BELGRADE, Mont. -- Montana is in the game. The agencies reviewing plans for coal export terminals in Washington state are going to look at how increased coal-train traffic would affect people living along the line - from Montana to the terminal sites in Washington. Jeannie Brown owns a home in Belgrade about 300 feet from the railroad tracks, and cares for a medically-needy granddaughter. She welcomes the news and points out that coal train traffic has...
Categories: Climate changeCoalNewsNorthern Plains Resource Council


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