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Senate Hopeful Wants EPA Administrator to Visit Montana Coal Town

"Families in Colstrip have sent a strong message that the EPA’s job-killing regulations are a direct threat." (For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)

Rod Kackley


July 25, 2014 - 7:34 pm
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Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) invites — no, Daines demands — Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency visit the town of Colstrip, Mont., to see for herself the impact of her agency’s Clean Power Plan on that community.

So far, he has not received her RSVP.

This time next year, he could have a lot more pull with the EPA. Daines could be forgiven if he is doing some early packing. He can’t be too worried about winning the November Senate election.

Rasmussen Reports gives him an 18-point lead among Montana voters in his bid to replace Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.). Even Democrat-leaning CEA/Hickman Analytics has him up by 12 points.

But Daines is very concerned about the people back in Montana, especially the people who call Colstrip home. Daines thinks the very existence of their community is endangered by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan proposal.

The EPA wants to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels. It would allow a state-by-state plan to reach that goal, but Daines said it would diminish coal’s role in energy production, force higher energy costs upon American families and cost good-paying Montana jobs.

“Hundreds of hard-working Montanans depend on jobs in Colstrip’s coal-fired power plants and its coal mines to provide for their families,” Daines said on the House floor.

Daines said visiting the people of Colstrip is the very least McCarthy could do after The Hill reported she met with “a group of 24 liberal senators” to push the EPA plan.

Colstrip is close to being a “company town,” and Western Energy Co. is the company. Western has four power plants in Colstrip, a town with a median household income of close to $75,000 thanks to Western.

It is not like the people of Colstrip are awash in an ocean of coal money. But it is close.

And Montana benefits as well. Western Energy paid the state $28 million in taxes in 2012 on its Rosebud Mine, according to The Billings Gazette.

Montana’s coal industry supports more than 5,000 jobs in the state, according to Daines’ office. The state contains more coal reserves than any other state and ranks sixth overall in coal production nationwide.

Montana gets more than half its power from coal, keeping electricity prices low. The average retail price in Montana is currently 8.42 cents per kilowatt hour, among the lowest in the nation.

Coal provides more than $100 million in tax revenue to the state of Montana, which funds schools, infrastructure, libraries and parks.

However, as important as coal is to the economies of Montana and Colstrip, McCarthy has yet to send her RSVP, accepting or declining Daines’ invitation.

“We have not yet received a response from Administrator McCarthy, but families in Colstrip have sent a strong message that the EPA’s job-killing regulations and the Obama Administration’s war on coal are a direct threat to the thousands of Montana families who rely on coal for their livelihoods and for a source of affordable energy,” said Daines’ communications director Alee Lockman.

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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Not sure that its a great idea to invite the EPA anywhere. They'll probably go to that small town and "find" violations of all kinds. End up closing the entire town and fining everyone in $1000/day until they clean it up.

No, don't invite the EPA. Wait until you become a Senator and then rein them in. Defund the EPA.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know what Barack told a Seattle audience this week on the first leg of his most recent west coast fundraiser ?

That we have to "make sure the planet keeps working" ASIF "the planet" is dependent on his personal drive to shut down oil and coal, his own hyperventilating and fear-mongering.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gina seems to be an ideologue in the style of her predecessor, Lisa Jackson.

She appears generally more knowledgeable than Lisa was (heck, a snail would be smarter than Jackson) but, as a True Believer, will not be changing her mind or position if she travels to Montana or anywhere else on the planet.

A "Senate hopeful" should have figured that out.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I doubt her visiting a coal town would change anything. She already knows all you polluting, carbon belching coal burning people are the enemy. To save the world, she doesn't care if a town or two dies. See, she's smarter than all of us and needs to help us. Perhaps sending her to some cult rescue/deprogramming group would be better.

I think I'll go for a long drive and burn a tank of gasoline to help the trees grow, because trees need CO2. Why does she hate trees and flowers?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Back from drive. Just doing my part to keep big oil and trees growing.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Economic assault seems to be the objective... all Daines can do by pushing this is to encourage the EPA and the criminals already running roughshod on the economy to double down on the destructive mandates and fiat legislation.

Unfortunately a good portion of his base will be convinced that somehow- against all logic as defined by precedent with this administration, getting these thugs to see their success will get them to rethink their strategy.

At best the Senate hopeful is naive about the intentions of the government he is aiming to join.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Coal has more than one 'enemy' - along with the EPA natural gas is also hurting the coal industry. With fracking being the productive gas releasing technique it is coal is caught between a rock and a hard place so to speak.

Gas is plentiful - cheap - and most of all - clean as compared to coal. Coal is not so clean and is more labor intensive over the long haul. Once a gas field is found to be producing in prodigious amounts its labor costs drop significantly. Coal companies have been squeezed by cheap gas before the EPA trotted out their onerous 'green house gas' emissions rulings.

Theres a very interesting if long article you can read if you want to know more. IMO although the EPA was set to swoop in for the 'kill' on coal fracking and natural gas seems to have gotten there first.

Now all we need to do is wait for the 'other shoe' to fall - for the EPA to rule that fracking is causing a tilt in the planet - or some such BS. You know its coming...

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
She needs to visit so she can practice her evil overlord laugh.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Walsh can't stop her employees from pooping on the floor in the Denver office and she's tasked with decimating the coal industry. Sounds like her credentials match those of a community organizer living in DC., and hey, Chicago's missing one of its idiots, too.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
just when you think that clown car can't hold any more, another obummer freak show emerges. why do people keep acting like these lib-fools only need to see/hear the problem 1st hand and they will understand? anybody w/ 2 cents worth of knowledge knows if you destroy something (our energy infrastructure) w/o having something workable to replace it you are trying to destroy that thing. these people are trying to destroy our country, one piece at a time. its very obvious to see. looking the other way when the obvious answer is there is suicide.

as far as climate change goes, yes, the climate is changing and always has been. deserts were once lush jungles and ice was miles thick where some of you now stand. however, I have yet to see any (real) scientific evidence that we are causing much of the present centuries old warming trend. the corrupted ones are desperate to find/fabricate proof so their socialist political bosses can collect more taxe$ to save us all.

I guess all those 'climate scientists' finally got back from having their ship get caught in all the new ice last winter/spring. eventually they had to be rescued. how embarrassing.

every thing these progressive nuts touch turns to crap, whether by design or by incompetence. hard to tell the diff.

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>Walsh has said that humans are responsible for climate change, and have a responsibility to fix it.
I want a concise explanation for every other instance of climate change that has occurred, before I'll buy into human causation.
Until that happens, they are working a scam.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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