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Energy Environment Greg Gianforte House 2018 Montana Politics

Run with it, John Heenan

It’s hardly “Breaking News!” but MTN reporter Mike Dennison has a story about congressional candidate John Heenan doing some work for two environmental groups that resulted in the shuttering of Colstrip Units 1 & 2.

Heenan is running against four other Democrats in the June primary contest for the U.S. House of Representatives. The winner will face incumbent Rep. Greg Gianforte in November.

The Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club sued the owners of the Colstrip power plants in 2013 for violating the Clean Air Act. The outcome was that two of the four units will be closing by 2022.

Heenan is minimizing his role in the suit as opponents are claiming it could be a “skeleton” that could hurt him in the general election. Don’t do that, John. Be proud of your involvement in the case, even if it was minimal.

The facts are that Colstrip Units 1 & 2 were old, inefficient, carbon-spewing behemoths that should have been mothballed long ago.

Be bold, John. Don’t fall for the “war on coal” hysteria whipped up by the likes of energy-industry harlots Gianforte, Sen. Steve Daines and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Coal is not in Montana’s future. Clean, renewable energy is. It’s one of the fastest growing segments in the American economy, offering high-paying, sustainable jobs. And let’s not forget the toll that climate change, from the burning of fossil fuels, is already having on other Montana economic sectors like agriculture and tourism.

On somewhat of an aside, I expect Republican primary candidates for the U.S. Senate seat to run nasty, negative campaigns. I’m loving the three frontrunners — Russ Fagg, Troy Downing and Matt Rosendale — going after each other hammer and tongs. For example, reports Dennison, the skanky dark money group, Club for Growth, which is backing Rosendale, is spending millions to paint former judge Fagg as a catch-and-release magistrate who is soft on crime.

To say that I’ll be extremely disappointed in and lose all respect for Democratic primary candidates engaging in this kind of sniping would be an understatement.

Here at the Montana Post, we’ve run numerous articles on the Democratic candidates with various contributors advancing one candidate over the other. We’ve done so in a respectful way acknowledging that the frontrunners are all well-suited for the job and would be worthy opponents to Gianforte in the fall. I’ve been promoting Heenan although the one area I’ve thought was lacking was an aggressive environmental platform.

So, John Heenan: be proud of your part in the Colstrip lawsuit. Don’t shy away from a strong environmental message. Run with it.





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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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