Big Sky Connection

 

 

 

Click on the image for the audio.

Eric Tegethoff

April 20, 2018

HELENA, Montana - The public has a few more days to comment on a change to the Bureau of Land Management's methane waste prevention rule. Critics say the change will leave the regulation toothless. 

The current rule, which took half a decade to create, was designed to cut down on the venting, flaring and leaking of natural gas from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal lands. It's estimated Obama-era rules would have saved taxpayers $330 million a year, the estimated value of the gas that escapes into the atmosphere. 

Pat Wilson is a retired rancher who used to live near an oil operation in Montana. He says efforts to undo this rule are part of the new administration's short-sighted approach to land management.

"It's part of the current culture of thumbing one's nose at science, and thumbing one's nose at any possibility that human action can result in environmental harm," says Wilson. "It's just so wrong-headed."

The BLM, under the direction of Ryan Zinke's Interior Department, says the rule as it stands now is too cumbersome for companies. 

Wilson is a member of the Northern Plains Resource Council, which delivered a petition with more than 1,000 signatures opposing changes to Montana's congressional delegation in early April. The public has until Monday to comment on the rule change at 'regulations.gov.'

Wilson ended up moving out of Montana because his wife's asthma was exacerbated by an oil-drilling operation less than a thousand feet from his front door. He says her condition became so bad over the last decade that she once fainted.

"It became increasingly apparent to her especially, and also to me, that if she's going to live through this thing, we're going to have to move," he says. "So we did."

In six western states, including Montana, more than 74,000 people live within a half-mile of an oil or gas facility on public lands.



 

          

 

Click on the image to listen to today's top stories.

Friday, April 20, 2018 - The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: more evidence that the rent is too, damn, high; Marathon County

braces for sulfide mining; and the focus on recycling this weekend for Earth Day in North Dakota.



 

April 19, 2018
MainStreetMontana.com

Editor's Note: The following press release was provided by the Gallatin County Sheriff's Department.

On Thursday morning at about 0700 hours, Gallatin County dispatch received a report of a stolen white Honda Accord, from a Belgrade address.

Belgrade Officers went to the address to take the report and located another vehicle that had been reported stolen from the Billings area.

At about the same time, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper witnessed the Honda Accord exit Jackrabbit Lane and access I-90 east bound.

The trooper began to follow the vehicle and it sped up, exiting at the Airport Interchange. A pursuit was begun which continued south on Jackrabbit Lane, to the Four Corners area.

The pursuit continued south on highway 191 towards the mouth of Gallatin Canyon, where law enforcement chose to discontinue pursuing due to public safety concerns.

A short time later, a deputy in Big Sky intercepted the stolen vehicle and began pursuit again. The vehicle turned onto Lone Mountain Road where due to highs speeds and erratic driving, the pursuit was again; discontinued.

Security personnel near the Huntley Lodge witnessed the vehicle enter the area and kept eyes on the vehicle until it began traveling back down Lone Mountain Road. Law Enforcement were able to block the roads to keep the suspect from accessing Highway 191. In the Meadow Village area, the suspect encountered law enforcement and turned back up Lone Mountain Road. Law Enforcement again began pursuit and continued to about mile marker 8 where the suspect vehicle attempted to ram a MHP trooper’s car. The suspect vehicle and the trooper’s vehicle were both disabled. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

The subject is being held at the Gallatin County Detention Center and should have an initial appearance before a Judge on Friday morning.

      

 

Click on the image to listen to today's top stories.

 

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - A contentious Farm Bill heads to U.S. House for debate. Also on our rundown: Gaps cited in anti-discrimination protections for small-business

employees and nonprofit volunteers; plus power out for much of Puerto Rico; and some warning signs, that increased youth activism may not correspond to voter turnout.


 

 

 

            

Click on the image to listen to today's tops stories.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - Former first lady Barbara Bush has died. Also on our nationwide rundown: Historic changes to SNAP could mean more hunger;

we'll take you to one of America’s smoggiest cities, and tribal rights and salmon habitat are tested in a U.S. Supreme Court case.