Archive for April 30th, 2009

by jhwygirl

A NYTimes article, Big Sky State makes play to be a CO2 importer reminds us of another environmental disaster-in-waiting SB498 sits awaiting signature from Governor Schweitzer.

Yeah! Let’s take Canada’s carbon dioxide! /snark

Ugh. Let’s hope the Governor goes “veto” on this one.

With recent EPA declarations regarding the regulation of CO2 – one has to wonder if its wise to attempting to regulate an untested process when the federal government has just declared its intention to regulate the same?

I must, once again, direct readers to two excellent posts on the subject of carbon sequestration: Button Valley Press’ Captive Carbon? and CO2 Going To The Birds. Both of those posts do a good job at explaining why injecting carbon dioxide into the ground is a stupid, stupid thing – but how nonsensical it is to build pipe and infrastructure all for additional processing of a pollutant in search of “clean coal”.

The feds have been halting all carbon dioxide emitting plants for months now – which is why the Highwood plant withdrew its plans for burning coal – clearly coal is receiving attention from the Obama administration, and consideration is being given as to what “clean coal” really means, and how do we get there?

Until that process is worked out – and clearly, the EPA declaration is going to take some time to work out – the state would do well to wait before acting. Investors are going to have to do the same…and the actions taken at Highwood confirm that wait-and-see approach.

SB498 has “scary” parts too – the sequestration (transport drilling piping and storage of carbon dioxide) would be be regulated by the Board of Oil & Gas – not DEQ which most would say are much better equipped both administratively and legislatively – to deal with regulating the transport of pollution.

An appointed board – that ovesees the industry that has to deal with this CO2. Conflict of interest, anyone?

Another “scary”? This is actually written into this bill:

(8) Solely for the purposes of administering carbon dioxide injection wells under this part, carbon dioxide within a geologic storage reservoir is not a pollutant, nuisance, or a hazardous or deleterious substance.”

Let’s hope for a veto on this one….I know I am.

by Pete Talbot

This will make Rob Natelson happy. In February, over at Electric City Weblog, Prof. Natelson said there was just too much native news in Montana’s newspapers (as opposed to right-wing, white-guy news).

Ms. Rave is leaving the Lee Enterprises newspaper chain (papers in Missoula, Billings, Helena, Butte and Hamilton) to write a book about Blackfeet activist Elouise Cobell. With the dire straights that newspapers are in these days, she probably won’t be replaced anytime soon.

I stumbled across this story at the Reznet website, a project at the University of Montana school of journalism. I imagine we’ll hear more in our state’s newspaper columns over the next few days.

Rave brought a unique perspective to Lee’s newspapers — one that was sorely needed, especially in Indian Country. Her contributions will be missed but I look forward to her book.

(Update: I don’t know how I missed her column on the editorial page of today’s Missoulian.  It’s a good read.  Hat tip to JC.)

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