No sooner did we get the exciting news from Paris about the international climate agreement than my good friend Steve Daines sent me an invitation to attend the third annual Montana Energy Conference in Billings on March 30-31. According to Senator Daines, it’s an opportunity to “continue the discussion on state and national energy opportunities and provide an all-encompassing look at Montana’s energy potential.”
I was really excited to see that our junior Senator has jumped on the bandwagon to transition Montana’s energy portfolio from fossil fuels to clean energy. This kind of leadership is exactly what’s required to help us meet the treaty’s ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions.
I went over to the event web site, where I discovered that the conference will have a “fresh new look and perspective,” and that “energy professionals, policy and decision makers at all levels” will take “an all-encompassing look at Montana’s energy potential.”
This is exactly what we need!
I checked out the list of current sponsors, and was kind of surprised to see that, in addition to Senator Daines, it includes the Montana Chamber, the Montana Petroleum Association, the Montana Contractors’ Association, and the Montana Coal Council.
I guess they haven’t contacted the Montana Renewable Energy Association, the National Resource Defense Council, Montana Green Power, Northern Plains Resource Council, or the Montana Environmental Information Center.
No doubt they’ll be on the list shortly.
Or maybe not. As I dug a little deeper, I noticed that the conference will be an opportunity to “limit efforts to hinder any part of our diverse energy portfolio. That includes coal-powered energy, which currently provides 51 percent of Montana’s electricity.”
And then I saw that the EPA’s new regulations will “kill over 7000 good-paying jobs and causing the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue that is used to fund our schools and infrastructure projects.” That’s the same nonsense the coal and gas people have been spewing for months.
That’s when it hit me. This conference has nothing to do with the Paris climate agreement. It has everything to do with propping up dying industries while the rest of the world heads in a completely different direction. And Steve Daines is still working for the same groups that have always bought and paid for his services.
Never mind. I guess I won’t be attending.
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