Opinion

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Opinion: Colstrip bill could derail clean energy future

Colstrip

Colstrip’s old coal-fired power units are losing money and that means their days are numbered. Units 1 and 2 are closing by 2022 at the latest and maybe sooner.  We need to make sure Colstrip’s operators fulfill their responsibilities in helping the state deal with the economic loss to workers, the community and the environment.  But, we have another problem. Legislation has been proposed that doesn’t just hold Colstrip’s operators accountable—it punishes them.  And, as good as retribution may feel, the problem is that it will also scare away developers and companies whose investments we want and need. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Raising cigarette tax will help save lives

Meyers

Tobacco is the only product that when used as directed will kill you. Each year, 1,600 Montanans needlessly die from deadly tobacco products. Nationwide, smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths per year, or roughly one in every five deaths. Furthermore, for every person who dies from smoking, at least 30 more are suffering from serious disease and disability caused by smoking. Yet, Montana hasn’t raised its tobacco tax since 2005. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: A house without walls

JE

Donald Trump’s presidential transition efforts, heavy on creating vacancies, light on filling them, reminds me of a friend of mine who likes to remodel houses. Well, remodel is the wrong word. He likes to tear houses apart. Room by room by room. Within the first month the kitchen would be gutted except for the appliances. Continue Reading →

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Special election could be good test of voter-turnout findings

PM

The confirmation of Ryan Zinke as secretary of the Department of the Interior has created an exceptional event in Montana: the need for a special election to determine his replacement in Congress. According to the secretary of state’s website, a special election has not been held to fill a congressional seat since at least 1912. How this special election, scheduled for May 25, will be conducted is proving to be controversial. Senate Bill 305, which would give county election officials the discretion to run the election entirely by mail, passed the state Senate only after the Republican caucus split on the question, with the Democratic members voting uniformly in favor of the bill. (more…) Continue Reading →

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