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Some Minimal, Actual News from the Gianforte Rollout: Ignoring The Environment

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In the two days of the Gianforte rollout, one in which he scurried away from questions from the press, there was one bit of news that should give Montanans who care about preserving our environment pause. According to Lee reporter Jayme Fraser, Gianforte repeatedly said that he would appoint “someone from industry” to head the Department of Environmental Quality:

It’s a fair question to ask whether Mr. Gianforte knows what the DEQ is, as when asked difficult questions about specific policies and parts of the administration, he’s said he doesn’t have the answers yet. But even someone with a passing familiarity with Montana government should know that the purpose of DEQ is not to rubber stamp projects, but to evaluate their environmental impact. As the agency’s web site notes, its purpose to protect the “clean and healthy environment” that Montana’s constitution promises all of us.

Anyone who has a minimal understanding of Montana’s history knows the importance of aggressive evaluation and permitting for major projects than can damage our environment. The state is littered with the reminders of corporate greed that has scarred the land, damage that may still be in place 6,000 years from now or longer. Rushing permits for companies, some of which don’t see beyond quarterly profits before running themselves into bankruptcy, is a recipe for disaster.

As interesting as breathless coverage of Gianforte’s talking points was, one hopes that the media will ask the candidate to offer examples of DEQ action his “industry” man would reverse or change.

Even Judy Martz, when given the opportunity to select a new chief at DEQ, chose someone who both the environmentalist and industry community agreed could be a good choice. From the Independent Record, way back in 2000:

Environmentalists and industry representatives also praised Martz’s selection.

Anne Hedges, program director for the Montana Environmental Information Center, said she’s elated at the decision, calling it “damn good news.”

Cary Hegreberg, executive vice president of Montana Wood Products Association, also called the appointment a winner. He said it was smart to look to within the department because Sensibaugh already has a rapport with the staff and is very capable.

While there were certainly challenges at DEQ under Governor Martz, she at least understood that the role of its head was to evaluate environmental impact, not be solely a voice for industry. And Martz chose someone who had the experience to lead the industry, someone who rose from within the organization, growing to understand its role and policies. Pandering Gianforte seems like he would be more interested in appointing someone who shares his ideology, not someone who has the experience for the job.

Let’s hope the press asks and Mr. Gianforte deigns to answer about the specifics of this ill-advised talking point.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

5 Comments

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  • Unfortunately, no Giant Fart supporters ever show up here to post. Maybe sWeed would do the honors by answering my questions for His Holiness, Pope Chromedomis the First!

    1. Question one. Hey numbnutz, does Jesus REALLY want us to be ignernt dumb sumbitches? I mean, really, Pelon, do you really want the folks of Montana to reject all of SCIENCE for your holy roller bullsh*t? Young earth?? Six thousand years old?? Only a freakin’ MORON, member of a cult, or a Giant Fart supporter believes that nonsense. So, why do you ask that WE, the good people of Montana, elect a moron like you who believes all that crap? You gonna attract lots of good paying JOBS with ignernt inbreds like yourself in charge? Not hardly.

    2. Question two. Do you REALLY support the bundy Snafu Legion over in Burns? Well of COURSE you do! Just say so, dink. You moved here from New Jersey, New freakin’ JERSEY ferrchrissakes! Lived in Bozoland for twenty years as a tech guy, and now, NOW, you know all about Montana! AND, the working man in Montana! Thas just damn funny, dufus. But HEY, know any people in your “tech” company missing any digits? Broken bones maybe? How ’bout a good hernia?! Jeesus, baldy boy, but you gotta be the BIGGEST pretender this side of the great pretender!

    3. Question three. Do you REALLY believe that we are living in the end times, just like that OTHER bald headed buffoon fundiwackmentalists and perhaps your ideological daddy, James Watt? You see, cue ball Watt was damn near egg SACKLY like you! Didn’t have a HAIR on his shiny pate, nary a HAIR, and he said, actually SAID, that since JAYSUS was comin’ back real soon, it was incumbent upon us to use up all the resources that we could, for it just didn’t matter! You appear for all the world to be as dumb as James Watt!

    4. Question four. Your arrogance is freakin’ ASTOUNDING! Twenty years in Bozoland makes you an expert on Montana. How SO, bugnutz? You look damn silly runnin’ around like you’re mr. montana or sumthin’. SO, here’s my question. Do you REALLY think that enuff religeeo inbred fundiwackmenalists have moved to Montana like you to elect a certifiable bald headed buffoon? I simply don’t think so.

    5. Question five. WHY THE FREAKIN’ HELL did you build a creation museum in our beautiful? Do you REALLY want the entire world to LAFF THEIR AZZES off at our wonderful state? Or are you just stupid, a moron taken in by a cult?

    Your turn, mr. giant fart. Start answerin’ some questions, or head your azz BACK to new jersey. I’m thinkin’ that you’d prolly fit in better there, for it’s already quite POLLUTED AS SH&T! And now, you want to bring your NJ values here? Not hardly!

    http://lastbestnews.com/site/2016/01/gianforte-ends-non-suspense-says-hes-running-for-governor/

    • p.s. Hey, Giant Fart, you’re a rich dude, a billionaire in fact. Look, here’s the deal, pelonito, you head your azz DOWN to Butte and clean up the Berkley Pit, and I’LL even vote for your sorry azz! What? You’ve never even SEEN the Pit? Well, that explains your enviro positions! I do believe that you’re the STUPIDEST bassturd to run for guv since Judy Mars. And we ALL know how that turned out!

  • It really sucks that we have to still be discussing this kind of crap, but Giantfart, Feidler and co. are gonna make us do it one more time. Hopefully, the Dildo Rebellion and Giantfart’s creation museum will put an end to this once and for all here in Montana. But I dunno. Lots of inbreds have moved up here recently, just like Gaintfart and Fiedler. And the little krisyean madrassas are popin’ up all over the place.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ff-oregon-standoff-constitution-20160121-story.html

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