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"German policy has declared energy to be a luxury. The poorest will notice first"
Professor Helmut Alt, University of FH Aachen
"The European Union is wracked by sovereign debt, budget deficits, monetary weakness, slow economic growth, trade deficits with the emerging economies, an ageing population, and mass unemployment – but it has the supposedly proud role of world leader in Green Energy Transition"
Andrew McKillop, former energy analyst, Euro Commission
Montana exports had a record year in 2012—led by grain, Montana exported over $2.48 billion in high value grain last year. We're producing products and commodities that the world wants, and all our communities benefit from the resulting jobs, economic growth, and tax revenue.
But to continue to thrive in the highly competitive global marketplace, Montana's agriculture producers need to be able to access the emerging markets where new demand is expanding. We produce some of the most outstanding agricultural products in the world, but if we can't get those products to the markets that want them, someone else will fill that demand.
If talk is cheap, political talk is even cheaper. We can thank our governor for reminding us of this, when he vetoed two bills, unanimously endorsed by the PSC, which would have provided consumers with well-deserved protection against rising energy costs. Steve Bullock won the election by convincing enough people that his brand of Big Government would somehow help working folks and people on fixed incomes. But the game is over, the crowd went home, and the scoreboard reads: Radical Environmentalists: 2. Working Stiffs: 0.
The publisher of a national industry magazine, the Oil Patch Hotline, recently called Montana's former Gov. Brian Schweitzer "a loose cannon." He also underscored the negative impact to Montana and other states by the federal government's refusal to forward royalty payments on the sale of oil and gas leases.
For most of his life Kevin Harris worked in lumber mills like so many others in the Flathead did. Logging and mill jobs in the robust, forested areas of Northwestern Montana provided pride and prosperity for years, until curbed dramatically by new regulations.
Without work for nearly three months and drawing unemployment, Kevin and his wife fell upon hard times. He felt increased pressure as the head of the household to provide for his four stepchildren and nine grandkids. "Going to the store was rough, just trying to figure out what we could afford," said Kevin. But then Halliburton came to town.
Is stream access doomed? That is the question sportsmen are whispering across Big Sky Country, as a special interest group pushes a bridge access case it lost through the state appellate court.
At stake is the state's claim of legal control over 68,000 miles of privately owned stream bed. That is a fair stretch of real estate by anyone's measure—touching thousands of Montana landowners of every stripe.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103