Search Results for: infrastructure

Montana legislature to eastern Montana: your infrastructure, your problem

The Montana legislature has failed once again to pass a bill that would support the increased infrastructure needs caused by oil and gas drilling in eastern Montana. As the semi-annual legislative session closed this week, two bills that would have … Continue reading

Posted in Bakken | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Support SB374, which would provide infrastructure support for Montana communities impacted by oil and gas drilling

Montana’s oil and gas tax holiday, instituted by the legislature in the 1999, provides a huge and unnecessary tax break to oil and gas companies. They pay a tax of only 0.5 percent of the production value for the first … Continue reading

Posted in Politics and History | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Who pays for infrastructure? You do. The case of Sidney, Montana

Yesterday’s post was about infrastructure, roads and taxes. The basic argument was: Infrastructure costs go up as oil and gas drilling expands. Because the benefits or drilling — corporate profits, jobs, increase in the supply of oil — are distributed … Continue reading

Posted in Bakken, Community Organization, Politics and History | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Infrastructure, roads and taxes: you pay when the cost goes up

From time to time we’ve talked about the impact of expanded oil and gas drilling on regional infrastructure — the basic facilities and structures needed for a community to operate. These include road maintenance, schools, health care, law enforcement, sewage … Continue reading

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Stillwater County News: “Workable framework” adopted for potential southern county zone

(Note: The following article appears in the July 11, 2019 edition of the Stillwater County News. It is reprinted here with permission of the Publisher. Subscription normally required to read article. To subscribe, click here.)

“Workable framework” adopted for potential southern county zone

“As Stillwater County is in a state of growth, the commission is looking into any and all options to help protect the county against out of control growth. While this may happen through some sort of zoning, it also may not. The commission’s goal is to welcome growth, but make sure it does not negatively effect the county as a whole.”

-County Commission Chairman Mark Crago

A “workable framework” has been adopted by the Stillwater County Planning Board, the latest action in the yearslong process spearheaded by residents to create a zone in the southern end of the county.

 At the July 3 County Planning Board meeting, the Beartooth Front Coalition, a group of citizens from southern Stillwater County, presented a proposal for the creation of a zone that would regulate the surface impacts of oil and gas development.

The County Planning Board is considering the creation of the zone due to a mutual agreement between the Beartooth Front group and the county, who are opposing parties in a lawsuit regarding the invalidation of the group’s petition to create such a zone.

The lawsuit is on hold as the board considers the zone. After much discussion between the public and board members, the proposal was accepted last week by a 5-2 vote of the board and will act as a framework for the future as draft zoning regulations come to the board. Continue reading

Posted in Community Organization, Politics and History | 3 Comments

The National Climate Report: Don’t be duped. Understand it yourself, and take action.

The Trump Administration released its National Climate Assessment (NCA) last Friday. This is the work product of the science agencies of our country, and reflects the best scientific thinking we have to offer on the impacts of climate change over the next several decades. Here are the findings in a nutshell:

-Climate change is real.
-Science has determined the cause of climate change. It is almost 100% due to human activity.
-We can see the impacts today. They are here, and they are accelerating.
-Over the next several decades it will cause substantial damage to the US economy, human health and the environment
-The situation is not hopeless. By acting now, and acting forcefully, we can still avoid the most serious and dangerous impacts. It’s up to us. We hold our fate in our hands.

The Administration released the report last Friday, and immediately set about trying to debunk it, using mischaracterizations and outright lies. What they did not do is directly dispute any of the scientific findings.

At this point you have a choice: sit back and let this happen, or be in action to minimize the impact.

Click to read the findings. Continue reading

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How the Trump Administration is quietly stripping away environmental protections

While Donald Trump’s tweets make the cable news channels salivate on a daily basis, the outrage provides cover for the real work that the Administration is doing to strip away important environmental protections.

Make no mistake about it — Trump and company have done everything they can to roll back environmental protections that have been established over many decades. This has been done primarily through rulemaking and other administrative procedures, which are generally ignored by cable news but can have a huge impact. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Politics and History | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Stillwater County Beartooth Zone: The Commissioners’ position is not only illegal, it is completely undemocratic

The Stillwater County Commissioners seem dead set on fighting County taxpayers in court to protect the rights of outsiders. No county in the history of Montana has ever taken their position, it is untested in court, and it is completely undemocratic and unfair.

To see how undemocratic the Commissioners’ position is, this post looks at two actual properties in the proposed zone.

No matter how County Attorney Nancy Rohde and the Commissioners try to spin it, there is no principle of law or justice in the United States of America in which a vacation cabin on a half acre should have 33 times the voice of a 1500-acre ranch that has been owned by the same family for 108 years.

To find out how to contact the people responsible for this nonsense, read the post. Continue reading

Posted in Community Organization | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stillwater County Beartooth Front Zoning District update

I will be writing more about this in the near future, but want to pass along this update from the Beartooth Front Oil and Gas Committee. This has been a long battle, slowed to a crawl by the Stillwater County Commissioners, who have raised delay to a fine art. Continue reading

Posted in Community Organization | Tagged , | 3 Comments

What a bipartisan solution to climate change might look like

Most of us bemoan the lack of civility, negotiation, and compromise in politics. We’re so polarized that government does almost nothing to solve our most critical problems.

What’s particularly frustrating to those of us who see climate change as a major threat to the future of human civilization is that the clock is ticking. Global temperatures have risen about 1.5° Celsius since the beginning of the industrial age and are continuing to rise. The impacts will accelerate with each uptick in temperature: rising seas and coastal flooding, longer and more damaging wildfire seasons, more extreme and destructive weather, more frequent and intense heat waves, widespread forest death, costly and growing health impacts, severe drought, stress on clean water systems, disruption of food supplies, and much more.

What makes this so frustrating is that simple and elegant bipartisan solutions to this problem exist. Just last week a group of conservative Republicans proposed such a solution. The proposers aren’t ideologues or hacks, they’re Republicans with impeccable credentials.

To read about their solution and why it could make sense, click the link.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments