BNSF Railway announced that it has increased capacity in 2012 to enable the railroad to haul one million barrels per day out of the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana. This increased capacity will allow the energy industry to continue the record expansion of oil production in the Williston Basin and to ship the new production to markets throughout the U.S. It will also benefit shippers of other commodities, including agricultural products.
What can Billings do to help our neighbors?
Their problems are our problems, believes Bruce McIntyre, Director of Business Advocacy and Government Affairs for the Billings Chamber of Commerce, who recently, during a leadership meeting in Billings, urged city and county officials and other civic leaders to offer support to smaller communities which are struggling with the almost insurmountable problems they are experiencing with rapid economic growth.
Robert Bryce's energy policy is very simple: "I'm in favor of air conditioning and cold beer."
Bryce, the featured speaker of the annual Montana Petroleum Day Appreciation Luncheon in Billings, is a senior fellow with the Center for Energy Policy and the Environment at the Manhattan Institute, and author of "Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence," and "Power Hungry – the Myths of Green Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future."
During his presentation to some 300 guests of the Montana Petroleum Association, Bryce declared that the new technologies being employed in shale oil development is a "game changer," throughout the world in regard to energy development.
"The rest of the world does not have any shale," he said. What's happening in the US in regard to oil and natural gas development is "enormously good news."
Visitation to Yellowstone National Park for June and for the first six months of the year is up compared to year-ago levels. The park recorded 674,498 recreational visitors in June 2012, up over 6-percent from last year, and is second only to record levels reported in June 2010. The number of recreational visitors entering Yellowstone for the first six months of the calendar year is also up compared to 2011, recording 1,044,570 since January.
Amid the challenge of pulling together the first ever Montana Energy Day at Montana Fair, a very energetic couple, and their relatively new entrepreneurial effort, has emerged as significant players on the energy front in eastern Montana and western North Dakota – Laura and Kendall McRae, with their business, "synergystation.com".
The annual meeting of the Montana Petroleum Association will be held in Billings on August 28 and 29.
The Petroleum Industry Appreciation Day Luncheon on Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza, will feature keynote speaker Robert Bryce, author of "Gusher of Lies" and "Power Hungry," with a talk on "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future." US Congressman Dennis Rehberg, will be the speaker at a barbecue on Tuesday evening, following a golf tournament at Pryor Creek Golf Club.
AYellowstone County's economy will reach pre-recession levels this year.
Income levels and employment have both improved in Yellowstone County, according to Paul Polzin, former director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. There was an inexplicable spike in employment, not associated with the ExxonMobil oil spill, that the Bureau is still trying to understand, he said.
About 80 percent of Yellowstone County's dry land hay has been lost because of the drought and 50 percent of rangeland grazing is lost for the same reason, according to a recent report in the Yellowstone County News.
But, says Yellowstone County Extension Agent Steve Lackman, irrigated hay is in good shape with much of the first cutting of alfalfa hay and grass having being put up in excellent condition.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103