Sen. Steve Daines is on tour, highlighting Montana’s energy sector at locations around the state.
He was recently in Laurel, reports Yellowstone Public Radio’s Jackie Yamanaka, visiting the CHS refinery. CHS produces petroleum products, mostly gasoline and diesel fuel, for CENEX stations around the country.
Daines is worried that decommissioning the coal-fired generators at Colstrip will put the hurt on CHS since the refinery uses $18 million a year in electricity to crank out petroleum products. In other words, we need to burn coal so we can continue to burn other fossil fuels.
I hope Daines gets a chance to read today’s Washington Post story about accelerated climate change and its dire consequences.
I realize that both the coal and petroleum industries pay good wages to their workers, and that tax revenue is substantial. However, since neither industry is going away in the near future, particularly petroleum, now would be a good time to act. How about aggressively crafting policy to transition jobs from fossil fuels to renewables, and explore other options for revenue streams? You know, forward thinking, getting ahead of the curve?
And here’s a thought, CHS refinery, perhaps invest some of that money in your “multimillion-dollar project under way that will increase refinery production” toward alternative sources of electricity to power your plant.
In a recent guest editorial, Montana GOP Executive Director, Tim Gould, accused Gov. Steve Bullock of supporting attempts to shut down the coal industry, which is a bit of a stretch, but he said, “Bullock isn’t just fiddling while Rome burns—he’s airdropping a load of napalm on the blaze.” Gould was referring to a supposed Montana economic meltdown if the state gets out of the coal business.
I would venture that Gould’s quote, particularly the words “burn” and “blaze,” would better fit his GOP bosses, like climate-science denier Steve Daines.