Dear DONALD, Editor-In-Chief of Montana News
In March I hosted an energy summit attended by hundreds of Montanans. During the final panel that featured the workers and community leaders who depend on good-paying jobs at Colstrip Power Plant, a group of radical environmentalists jumped on the tables and began chanting "keep in the ground." As the protesters chanted, a 12-year-old girl from the Crow Nation walked over to them and simply said, "If we keep it in the ground, my family will starve." When she was done the protesters stepped down from the tables, rolled up their banners and left.
This little girl's courage in standing up to these extremists motivated me to fight even harder for Montana's coal jobs and the Montana families who depend on them. That's why I introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to protect Montana coal jobs and give states and tribes a meaningful voice on the Obama administration's new moratorium on coal leases.
Montana is at the top of the list of states that will feel the burden of the Obama administration's anti-energy regulations. And between Presidential Executive Orders and mandatory regulations from his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Montanans haven't had a voice in the future of our state.
Because of the lack of leadership in the White House, I'm working to provide certainty in Montana so the federal government won't pull the rug out from under our economy. My bill, the Certainty for States and Tribes Act, is critical to protecting Montana's good-paying energy jobs. It will give local governments and Indian tribes who produce federal minerals a seat at the table to ensure greater transparency in the process.
Ashley Dennehy, who has lived in Colstrip all her life and is a co-founder of Colstrip United, praised this legislation, saying:
"I hope that this will save coal towns like mine, and give us the opportunity to prosper and keep Montana an energy exporter for many years to come. By putting the people who are directly impacted in the position of advising our federal leaders you are putting real-world experience on the policies."
I will continue working to ensure that Montanans like Ashley and families of Crow Nation have a voice in Washington.
As always, I encourage you to contact my office to express your concerns or opinions on policy issues important to you. And if we're not already connected on social media, I invite you to follow my daily updates on Facebook and Twitter.
It's my number one priority in Congress to represent the values and interests of the people of Montana, and your input is very helpful as I do. I also invite you to visit my website, www.daines.senate.gov, so we can stay in close touch.