06.15.16

Daines to Listen to Montanans, After Snubbed by Interior

On the same day, BLM is hosting an official meeting in Seattle, Washington with no plan to hear Montanans’ voices

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that he will hold a public meeting on June 21, 2016 in Billings, Montana to ensure that the Department of Interior (DOI) hears the voices that will be most impacted by their review of the federal coal program.

While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) claims that they are “particularly interested in gathering public input on the issues and policies that should be outlined in the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement” on June 21 they are holding an official scoping meeting in Seattle where there is little to zero coal. As of the end of 2013, Montana held more than one-fourth of the nation's estimated recoverable coal reserves.

Daines will be attending the event through video conference as he will be in Washington, D.C. on June 21 conducting official U.S. Senate legislative business. A livestream will be available on www.daines.senate.gov

“Coal plays a vital role in Montana’s economy and provides a reliable source of affordable energy for hardworking Montana families,” Daines stated. “I look forward to hearing the concerns of Montanans who will be most impacted by the Obama administration’s war on energy and the good-paying jobs it supports.” 

Background

Montana is currently excluded from the scoping process as DOI announced public meetings during May and June in Casper, Wyo.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Salt Lake City; and Seattle. Montanans are encouraged to share their thoughts and bring written comments to the June 21 event in Billings. 

On May 17, 2016, Daines introduced legislation to protect Montana coal jobs from the Obama administration’s recent moratorium on new federal coal leases and ensure that states and tribes have a significant voice in any changes to federal coal, oil, gas royalties or leasing policy. Earlier this month, Daines requested a legislative hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on his legislation. 

For Press: 

WHERE:   Montana State University – Billings

                Library Room 148

                1500 University Dr.

                Billings, MT 59101 

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 21, 2016 

              Event begins at 11:45AM MT

Daines to address group at 12:00 PM MT 

For Attendees:

  • In order to submit written or verbal comments, speakers will need to sign in prior to 12:30 pm at the location.  
  • Speakers will be called upon on a first-come, first-served basis and allowed a maximum of three minutes to present their comments.
  • If you are unable to attend, please submit comments through the following link: BLM_WO_Coal_Program_PEIS_Comments@blm.gov. 

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