Archive for June 8th, 2009

by jhwygirl

Nor is the U.S, either….

Via Supermontanareporter John S. Adams’ The Lowdown:

While there is almost certainly as much coal in the ground as Mr. Warholic’s Energy Information Administration believes, relatively little of it can be profitably extracted. Last year, the U.S. Geological Survey completed an extensive analysis of Wyoming’s Gillette coal field, the nation’s largest and most productive, and determined that less than 6% of the coal in its biggest beds could be mined profitably, even at prices higher than today’s.

The gist? We might have a whole lot of it, but we keep taking a whole lot of it, every year, out of the ground. No one’s been accounting for that, even though everyone has been saying that we got hundreds of years of that stuff around. A full half of U.S. electricity is generated by burning coal. That a whole hell of a lot coal that has been burned for decades and decades that really hasn’t been added into that statement.

Adams gets all the main points and a little more: We can’t profitably get at that coal, even if the price goes up. Coal is a major contributor to carbon emissions (the coal-burning industry has long gotten a free pass on this from the EPA, until recently), and the U.S. is currently inching closer and closer to cap-and-trade legislation that will make coal that much more expensive.

He goes on to note that Montana is well-poised to be “the Saudi Arabia of wind,” which is something I’ve said, although not exactly as economically (and colorfully) as Adams did.

Read his whole post. He’s got lots of good links, and, as I said, he’s covering all the salient points and a little bit more.

Considering we owe all kinds of money to all kinds of countries, and our military can’t run on wind or solar, AND our kids aren’t getting any smarter and math and science, and we’re really going to need to have that kind of brain trust to help solve our dependency on carbon fuels, maybe it’s wiser to keep that coal around for the military as part of strategic reserves and reduce consumer dependency as soon as possible while working towards technology that will all but eliminate our general consumer dependency on the stuff?

I know…more crazy talk.

by problembear

that is why the private health insurers will make concessions at the last minute to ensure that we don’t have a viable strong public plan in the health care reform bill currently being debated all accross the country.

they want to keep us nice and juicy. not necessarily healthy but alive enough to keep paying the premiums. the momentum of creating a decent health care reform bill which would have hurt the insurers has been successfully thwarted by the antics of max baucus. his ham-handed approach has successfully divided any progressive alliances which might have been problematic for the private insurance industry.

so which is it? is max an idiot or crazy like a fox? did he drive a wedge between true progressives and democratic party regulars to hurt chances of a bill’s passage on purpose in order to keep the parasites happy? or is baucus really too stupid to live?….because while i watch this potential for health care reform drowning in a sea of congressional alternatives which only serve to further obfuscate any real change which we need, those are the only choices i can come up with.

either way, max is going down in the history books as a political pariah or a political ninny.

meanwhile, those of us like me who fear high deductibles will continue to avoid seeing a physician for a chronic pain situation which makes it all the harder to climb into large trucks and to move two to three thousand pound pallets around. a bottle of aleve is affordable. using my employer supplied private insurance is not….so as the pain builds and my anger rises over baucus’s obliviousness to the real problems with private insurance coverage even for those like me who have so-called good coverage, i will continue to move freight around and let the pain fester some more rather than pay out thousands in co-pays, wrestle with mountains of paper work, spend hours of my life on a telephone line trying to call the parasites daily to try to get them to pay for the things they are supposed to pay for.  the pain in my knee is so far, much less than the pain of dealing with the parasites again.

i know this much. i am saving the memory of this pain for baucus’s next reelection try. and i will do everything in my power to see that max retires in 2014.

by jhwygirl

Via Missoulian reporter Keila Szpaller’s Twitter – looks like Mayor Engen did a partial veto, allowing calls and hands-free, but keeping texting illegal.

Council has a week to consider.

UPDATE: Engen calls for texting to be a primary offense. I’ll link to the letter when it becomes available.

by jhwygirl

One of my very favorite natural resource conservation organizations anywhere is The Blackfoot Challenge. This fine group is a true grassroots organization, born out of local landowners desire to preserve the basic resource of water and the agrarian community that is the Ovando/Helville/Lincoln/Upper Blackfoot drainage area. I’ve written about them before…and there are some truly amazing people up there that have accomplished the massive task of gaining consensus over a wide spectrum of people and uses in both the private and public sector. They’ve got an Adopt-A-Swan program going to help reintroduction of trumpeter swans to Western Montana.Trumpeter Swan Brood

The story of trumpeters in the Blackfoot will tug at the hearts of anyone who loves wildlife. The link, above, to the Adopt-A-Swan program touches on the story, and you can wade through this link (a search of the Missoulian archives) to see dozens of articles related to Montana’s trumpeters.

Lincoln’s Louie Bouma is a bit of a hero in this area – an everyday hero rancher, one of the many involved with the Blackfoot Challenge – and the cygnets he rescued are quite the celebrities in the birding world, as is Susan Patla of Wyoming Game & Fish.

When you are up in the Upper Blackfoot, be sure to look out for these beautiful endangered creatures. I’ve not heard of any sightings down in Ravalli county’s Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, but I’ve been hoping for years now that one day a pair would make a stop.


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