Gianforte: I’m Dedicating My Salary as Governor to Manufacturing

It’s been less than a year since I first announced a potential run for Governor of the Great State of Montana. Since that time, I’ve driven over 46,000 miles across the state, meeting with Montanans in café’s from Ekalaka to Eureka and seeing my own bed only once or twice a week. One of the greatest joys has been staying with folks in their homes, rather than staying in hotels, because it has allowed me to really connect with families all across the state.

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The Future of Energy in Montana

The State of Montana is blessed with an abundance of energy resources. We have areas of high quality wind and solar opportunities, and we have one of the nation’s largest reserves of high quality coal, plus new reserves of natural gas. The recent announcement of the complete shutdown of Colstrip units 1 & 2 was met with a few celebrations in some areas of Montana, but a great deal of concern in the community of Colstrip and the surrounding area. One thing is abundantly clear: energy and economic security in our state remains uncertain.

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CSKT Compact Loses in Constitutional Challenge

Because the Montana legislation that enacted the CSKT Compact changed an aspect of the Montana State Constitution the new law is not valid because it lacked the two-thirds majority required to change the state constitution. So ruled a judge in a case brought by irrigators against the state of Montana — FJBC v. Montana – regarding SB 262, which was passed by a simple majority of the 2015 State Legislature.

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Growth Shifts from East to West

Because of cooling ag prices and low commodity prices, Montana’s economy so far this year is not shaping up to be as good as last, according to Patrick M. Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, in reporting on the mid-year state of the Montana economy. And, Yellowstone County, where commodities and agriculture play a strong economic role, is tracking at the same rate as the statewide average.

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Guard Considers Laurel Airport

The Montana Air Guard is considering using the Laurel Municipal Airport for limited aviation maintenance and training, according to a report in the Laurel Outlook, last week.
The idea is only in its preliminary stages, said Major Chris Lende, Chief of Public Affairs for the Montana National Guard. Lende said that they have had conversations with the Laurel Airport administration for a small detachment of military helicopters to be located there.

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“Sustainability” — Good Business for Montana

“Sustainable” seems to be a catch-all marketing angle for everything from good intentions to bio-derived products and local sourcing. And business sustainability, consistent Corporate Social Responsibility ethos, is primarily touted as being of social and environmental value with minimal consideration to potential financial benefits.

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Market Update

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