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Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke Wants to Allow Drilling on the North Fork of the Flathead

In an astonishing interview on KGEZ, Ryan Zinke argued against the bipartisan North Fork Watershed Protection Act, suggesting that new technology might make drilling for natural gas possible there.

Listen to Zinke explain his defense of protecting natural gas drilling on the North Fork here.
Play Music – Download Audio – Ryan Zinke Wants to Drill Th…

Zinke’s position is badly out of step with that of Montanans, so much so that even Steve Daines, the most conservative Montanan ever in Congress, sponsored a bill to protect the North Fork Watershed. From The Missoulian:

Daines, who said in March he planned to introduce the bill, called the latest progress a win-win for Montana and the future generations.

“Montanans are looking for bipartisan cooperation, and I think this is an example of our delegation working to do the right thing for Montana,” Daines told the Missoulian. “I’m an avid sportsman. That heritage was passed on to me by my father and my grandfather, and I want to pass that on to my kids. This is looking out for the next generation.”

The need to protect the North Fork watershed is one of the few issues that is so non-controversial in Montana that groups ranging from energy to conservation and wilderness to ranching support its protection.

Again from Representative Daines:

“The Flathead is considered a red-ribbon stream,” Daines said. “That’s Montana’s version of a blue-ribbon trout stream. This watershed is the gateway to one of the crown jewels of the national park system – Glacier National Park.”

Zinke’s position that we should allow drilling for gas for the sake of mythical “energy independence” is both illogical and a betrayal of the clean environment that Montanans want to pass down to their children. It’s little wonder that Zinke is getting so much financial support from the oil and gas extraction industry, and so little from ordinary Montanans.



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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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.


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