Why Does Rehberg Hate Montana’s Rural Communities?

by jhwygirl

A bill (HR 3058) that would have extended payments for 4 more years to rural communities throughout the west via the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (SRS) failed in a largely party-line vote today in Congress. Rehberg voted against extending it.

For some background on this, check this piece that I did back in January.

SRS is funded by timber sales on federal lands, and helps rural communities – based on the amount of untaxed federal lands – pay for services such as police, fire, teachers, roads and emergency services.

174 Republicans and 19 Democrats – Dennis Rehberg amongst them – objected to the inclusion of provisions for the establishment of conservation of resources fees for federal oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rehberg and friends also objected to the requirement that the Secretary of the Interior incorporate price thresholds applicable to royalty suspension provisions, or amend existing price thresholds, of a specified amount per barrel for oil and per million Btu for natural gas for any lease for Central and Western Gulf of Mexico tracts issued during the period of January 1, 1998, through December 31, 1999.

In other words, Rehberg chose Big Oil over Montana’s rural communities.

Way to go there, Lap Dog!

  1. No. This is wrong.

    I’ve heard Rehberg say, on a number of occasions, that he supports rural Montana. Surely your “facts” and “voting records” don’t trump that.

  2. Well, if my facts are wrong, I better get some other commenter to back them up, that way I can post another post that backs up my story.

    Besides that, Pogie, that headline just plain looks good.

    (ha – just look at those autogenerated posts below. Some things never change)

  3. goof houlihan


    The facts do not support your headline. Rehberg has supported full PILT funding for years, standing up to Montana’s far right constitutionalists to do so.

    I wouldn’t have voted for the crap in the bill you cite, either.

  4. PILT and SRS are two different things, goof.

    Both, though, provide payments to rural communities. SRS is additional payment to an even smaller set of counties because of the large portion of federal lands.

    I don’t believe Big Oil needs subsidies. Putting a price threshold on federal royalties is an example of a Big Oil subsidy.

    Subsidies for Big Oil are the equivalent of providing methadone to a heroine addict. Big Oil can talk all it wants about investing in clean energy, but they’re just feeding the masses a bit of that methadone that the feds are dishing out to them.

    We need alternative energy. Time’s a wastin’.

  5. goof houlihan

    Rhetorically, it doesn’t matter that they are “different”. Rehberg’s support for rural communities, and full PILT funding, runs counter to your headline and Pogreba’s snarking.

    I don’t buy the argument that all is lost with oil and natural gas, either. Those who wish to hasten the oil apocalypse, the misery of millions in a long emergency are just fanatic as those who wish to hasten any other apocalypse as their last revenge.

  6. goof houlihan

    Interesting that there’s not going to be a race in either Denny’s or Max’s reelection.

    That might just have been the intent of the voters, eh? I know I voted for the person least likely to hit me up for money in several of the offices on the ballot.

    And we can tone down the election year rhetoric for those two races as well…a welcome reduction, right?

  7. Matthew Koehler

    Recently, when Rep Rehberg was doing a dog and pony show over in Granite County he talked about the Secure Rural Schools legislation and blamed Democrats for not extending the SRS legislation. That was total BS and I called him on it. Rehberg responded by saying one of the reasons he opposed the Dems SRS reauthroization effort was because he believed we needed to return to the old system of payments to counties being tied to timber receipts from logging on national forests.

    Truth is, the SRS legislation from 2000 and the reauthorization effort that Rehberg voted against has and would provide far more stable funding to rural communities than returning to a system that perversely tied funding for education in rural communities to cutting down our public forests. Ask yourself: Should the richest, most powerful nation in the world fund the education of its children by cutting down its forests?

    Right now, because of the depressed housing market, rising fuel costs, etc the Forest Service can’t even sell many of the timber sales that they are offering up to the logging industry at bargain basement prices. What would funding for rural education look like if Rehberg got his wish to re-tie that funding to timber sale receipts? Oh, that’s right…what matter most to Denny is representing the industry, not the people of Montana.

  8. goof houlihan

    Sounds like you care more about the forests and shutting down the timber sales than you do about rural education and the rural people of montana.

    I don’t think it’s education or rural montana that’s the point of those bashing Rehberg. It’s the strong stance he’s taken against radical “shut down the economy” environmentalism.

    I’d guess “the people of Montana” are going to support Rehberg’s return to Congress and continued representation of them, and do so overwhelmingly.

    “funding” should tie to some source of income. That’s how it works in my budget.

  1. 1 PILT Payment Checks Have Arrived in County Mailboxes « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Rehburg has voted against funding this program. Max Baucus has always supported it. […]

  2. 2 Mineral County Sheriff’s Race Candidate Promises Not to Enforce Federal Laws « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] on heavily. PILT and SRS funding payments, for example, (I’ve written about those here and here) supplement schools and Mineral County’s general budget. National Security grants help to […]

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