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A sell-out event, Montana Energy 2012, held in early April in Billings, brought participants from all over the nation. Speakers brought a combination of good economic news and bad news. Several speakers declared that the idea of "peak oil" is a myth. The winds for coal in Montana may shift as markets shift from the east to the west, which is better served by transportation. Coal development could also be brought to a halt by new regulations from President Obama. Denbury Resources plans to invest $2.5 billion to extract oil using carbon dioxide. The technology will recover more than 200 million barrels of oil. International oil expert Michael Economides said Montana is already a "superpower" in oil production. But, warned the National Chamber of Commerce, 40 new "major" additions to regulatory law in the US, could bring most energy development to a halt, and has already prompted the closure of some electric generators, which found compliance economically unfeasible. The regulations will impose billions of dollars in costs on Montana companies and agriculture. Numerous new companies involved in various kinds of business indicated plans to move to or open offices in Billings – if they already hadn't. (See more on Page 3)
The Big Sky Business Journal
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Billings, MT 59103