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November 19, 2005

Charmed by Schweitzer

Joel Connelly had a nice story on Montana Governor Schweitzer yesterday.  From the tone of the article, Connelly has clearly been smitten by Schweitzer’s smarts and charisma, as have I.  As have the good folks of Montana who give their new governor, who’s not even been in office a year yet, a 68% approval rating.  Here are a couple of excerpts from the article:

A sky-high dreamer from the Big Sky State, Gov. Brian Schweitzer aims to make Montana government a lobbyist-free zone and to "create the new energy center of the world."

Montana has gotten its fill of lobbyists, or "manure piled around government," in Schweitzer's words. Lobbyists were behind an energy deregulation bill that allowed Wall Street to strip Montana Power of $2.7 billion in power assets, leaving the company bankrupt and its investors out in the cold.

Schweitzer believes it's time for Montana to protect its natural beauty, take charge of its enormous coal reserves, and -- the man dreams big dreams -- try to wean American from its dependence on Middle East oil.

"It isn't U.S. senators, the secretary of defense or the secretary of energy who go to funerals when bodies come back from Iraq. It's governors," he said. "I recommit myself, at every funeral, to energy independence.

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 19, 2005 at 10:21 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink

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Comments

Unfortunately, while Brian Schweitzer is a good politician and is great on many issues, energy issues and coal are not among them. His proposals for Montana coal are hugely environmentally damaging.

My friends at the Northern Plains Resource Council have been doing some research on Schweitzer's proposals, and they're finding that they're a combination of wishful thinking and environmental destruction.

http://www.northernplains.org/documents/Memo_Synfuels_11_05.pdf


It's unfortunate that well-meaning progressives across the country, not just Joel Connelly, are unable figure out that while Schweitzer's a pretty good guy, he's hugely wrong on what's becoming a signature issue for him.

Posted by: Jon Stahl | Nov 19, 2005 12:18:41 PM

Jon,

Thanks for that link. Very instructive. Schweitzer has consistently said there would be little or no pollution. It will be interesting if he will be willing to address the specifics of water, energy, capital, and pollution. Our progressive friends in Montana are so behind Schweitzer, and he is so charismatic, that it is easy to forget to check the facts.

Posted by: Lynn | Nov 20, 2005 12:14:49 PM

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