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Stockman Bank was recognized by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) as one of the top performers in 2009 for Community Banks with more than $500 million in assets. Stockman Bank has received this recognition numerous times since recognition began in 1998.
Nationally-recognized energy conservation and efficiency firm, Pure Energy, has announced that it will open an energy efficiency training center between Lavina and Roundup in October.
The Pure Energy Center and Ranch will provide energy efficiency training programs and certifications for people in Montana’s construction industry and for those who need to be re-skilled to meet today’s energy savvy customers.
Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) and Northwestern Energy have signed agreements to coordinate the planning of two regional wind energy transmission projects, which will help move Montana’s wind power out of the state to purchasing markets. The two projects are the Montana Renewable Collector System (MTRCS) and the Mountain States Transmission Intertie (MSTI).
The collector system would gather wind power generated in north central Montana at the new substation in Townsend, and the MSTI project would carry the power between southwestern Montana and southeastern Idaho. The MSTI line would begin at the Townsend Substation and proceed south, connecting to Idaho Power Company’s existing Midpoint Substation, located 10 miles north of Jerome, Idaho. Together, the system would help move Montana’s wind power out of the state to markets where it could be purchased.
Northwestern Energy and WAPA signed two separate Memorandums of Understanding agreeing to study the projects’ potential to enable renewable energy development in the West.
Besides getting Montana oil production to market, which will not only encourage greater production but bring producers higher prices, the building of a pipeline by TransCanada, through the state of Montana means hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending and substantial revenue for local governments, according to one speaker at the Montana Petroleum Association, Paul Miller,
Miller quoted from an independent study that said the construction of the Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Pipeline will have positive contributions to the Montana economy valued at $421 million.
Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau will address the Annual Meeting of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. The organization’s 78th Annual Meeting will be held October 6 in Billings. The meeting will include the Annual Membership Meeting, Annual Board of Directors Meeting, and changing of the leadership for the organization. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Billings Hotel, with a reception. The banquet follows at 6:15 p.m.
NorthWestern Energy is seeking a five-year electricity contract for 50 megawatts of on-peak power to serve its Montana customers beginning July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017.
The company has issued a Request for Proposal for energy delivered to any available interconnection point on its transmission system or through an exchange on the Mid-C trading hub. Proposals are due on September 21, 2010.
Interested parties may obtain a copy of the RFP at www.northwesternenergy.com or by contacting Kevin Markovich at 406-497-3336 .
The Montana Chamber is offering a trip to China for $1,999 per person (based on double occupancy). Set for April 18-27, 2011, the ten-day, all inclusive tour (from Seattle) repeats a very successful trip sponsored by the Chamber last March.
The trip is open to anyone, they do not have to be a Chamber member, nor even in business (it is not a trade mission.)
An orientation for people interested in the trip will be held in Billings on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 5 pm. at the Crowne Plaza. Refreshments will be served for the first half-hour, with pictures and videos from the last trip. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the Montana Chamber will go over details of the trip, ending with an opportunity for registration before ending at 6:30 p.m.
Montana Chamber of Commerce
Repeal Part of Law
The Montana Chamber of Commerce supports the passage of the Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act and an amendment expected to be offered to H.R. 5297, the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. Both would repeal Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that requires Form 1099s to be filed on every business transaction (cumulatively) over $600 per year, unless done by credit card. This requirement, intended to catch “tax cheaters” and used to “fund” PPACA, is an additional burden on business. We oppose another amendment to H.R. 5297, that would provide some relief, but create even more red tape, with differing levels of exemptions. The Montana Chamber joins the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in supporting passage of H.R. 5141, the “Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act” that would also repeal Section 9006. We thank U.S. Rep Denny Rehberg for being a co-sponsor of H.R. 5141.
The Montana Chamber has partnered with the Business & Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) to give your business and your employees the tools and information to fully participate in the 2010 Election. There are a number of important elections this cycle that will affect key decisions in Helena on job creation, out-of-control government spending, medical marijuana, health care, resource development, taxes and much more.
A new report ranks the Montana state highway system second-best in the nation based on performance and cost-effectiveness. The ranking by the Reason Foundation in Los Angeles released last week considers eleven indicators, including highway spending, pavement and bridge condition and fatalities. The state moved up three notches from last year in the overall rankings despite being dead last in the category of fatalities per highway miles traveled. The report found Montana averaged 2.12 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, the worst in the nation. For the full report, go to: http:// reason.org/ news/ show/ 19th-annual- highway- report
Debbie Singer of NorthWestern Energy provided a website showing unemployment numbers. It shows unemployment levels across the United States from January, 2007 to May, 2010 on a month-by-month basis. It is pretty revealing on what has happened to unemployment levels the past three years in the U.S. Go to: http:// cohort11. americanobserver. net /latoyaegwuekwe/ multimediafinal.html. Be sure to click the PLAY button in the middle of the map and take note of the dates and unemployment rates above the U.S. map, as it advances month-by-month.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103