Redux: “It’s Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…”; Exxon Mobile Tax Protest Costs 18 Local Jobs


Well, it was just a matter of time until our Governor’s hollow words took a turn to the right. In a little noticed story tucked back inside the B Section of last Sunday’s Missoulian, we find out that Exxon–the world’s richest corporation–is protesting nearly a million dollars in taxes in the small Montana town of Lockwood. The protest amounts to 44% of the town’s tax base, and will cost 18 jobs:

Leaders in Lockwood met with ExxonMobil executives and representatives from the Montana Department of Revenue on Thursday to discuss Exxon’s decision and the ramifications it could have for the school district.

“What we will do we don’t know at this point,” said Eileen Johnson, superintendent of the Lockwood School District.

District officials first heard the news from Exxon officials when they met on Thursday. Exxon sent five officials to the meeting, including two of its tax experts from Houston.

Those officials traveled to Helena on Friday to meet with state leaders. A call to Exxon’s Lockwood office Friday was not returned.

“Meet with state leaders…” Hmm, I wonder just what the governor or his underlings are telling Exxon? “C’mon on in, the door’s open, we need your ‘jobs, jobs, jobs.'” I wonder what the next public proclamations from Schweitzer will be about this situation? Push harder for the project because we need even more jobs now? Maybe Exxon is pushing for a little bit of quid pro quo? Pay to play? Extortion…??? So many questions, and so few answers.

I know many of our commenters here think that Exxon and the Canadian oil cartel are such fine upstanding corporate citizens, what with they provide us all the tar for our hippy bike paths. But when the world’s richest corporation has the ability to throw small communities in our state into total disarray and turmoil by simply protesting its taxes, well then, they are no friend to our state and should be dealt with accordingly.

And in related news:
tar sands resistance

International Tar Sands Resistance Summit, Nov 19-22 at Lubrecht

The Indigenous Environmental Network and Northern Rockies Rising Tide are pleased to announce the “International Tar Sands Resistance Summit,” which will take place November 19-22 at the Lubrecht Experimental Forest conference center, 30 miles east of Missoula, Montana, USA. The summit is designed to be a place where individuals representing tar sands-impacted communities can come together to strategize, learn skills and network in order to grow and strengthen the international effort to effectively resist the most destructive industrial project on the planet, the Alberta tar sands. The four-day convergence will focus primarily on connecting individuals and communities affected by the Alberta Tar Sands, the XL Energy Pipeline, and the proposed mega-load shipments. This event is free and open to the public, but due to limited space we will have to cap the number of attendees. Feel free to register online , but please be sure to read the information provided on the form.


  1. Smokey

    “the most destructive industrial project on the planet”. Wow! I would say that they are a little out of touch…

  2. SeenClearly

    It absolutely IS ramping up to be the most destructive industrial-capitalist venture on the face of the planet; potentially covering an area the size of Florida.

  3. Chuck

    JC..I never said anything in support of the oil companies. It is your dissidents on the city council that are seeking earmarks and gotten grants to buy tar sands that are paving Missoula.
    Quit buyin the sht.

  4. Chuck

    One would think Northern Rockies Rising Tide would want to conserve oil by hosting their “death to the tar sands” event in Missoula rather then have people needlessly burning tar sand gas and oil driving all the way up to Greenough. I will apologize if all participants are biking the 30 miles (one way) or leaving their cars in town and taking a bus.

    • JC

      What makes you think that all, or even more than a few, of the participants are from Missoula? They’re actually from all over the place.

      But your logic is what is really crazy. By your rationalizations, we should just stay in Iraq and probably invade Iran so we can keep all of the oil to ourselves.

      MOst of the people involved in NRRT probably use far less oil than you do, Chuck. It’s a lifestyle thing.

      • Smokey

        “It’s a lifestyle thing”…

        My lifestyle is sooo much greener then yours or I use so much less oil than you or I live of the grid or my house is the new cool green house in msla.

        It’s so old. We’ll micro argue to death while ignoring the big picture, which isn’t this tar sands project.


        • JC

          “Big Picture”

          And just what is the “big picture” as you see it? A picture that allows the world’s largest corporations to wreak havoc on an ecosystem and its inhabitants–the largest industrial project on earth–just so people like you can maintain their comfortable levels of consumption?

          By all means, bring on the “big picture” discussion you want to have. I’ll put it up front and center.

  5. Chuck

    “But your logic is what is really crazy. By your rationalizations, we should just stay in Iraq and probably invade Iran so we can keep all of the oil to ourselves.”

    JC, Your presumptions are all wrong. I am calling out the dissenters for supporting the tar sands oil projects by paving Missoula with it. I am calling out the hosts of the event for not having it in Missoula and using public transportation , instead of out in the hinterlands where EVERYBODY has to drive 60 miles round trip driving over newly laid tar sands asphalt.
    By the way, your dissenters need to focus on The Orinoco.

    • JC

      Your protestations are all wrong.

      1) The protestors are not the ones paving Missoula–the state, city and county are.

      2) Why should the event be in Missoula, when most of the people coming to it are from around the country–and from Canada? It is not an event where the majority of people are even Missoulians.

      3) Why should anybody listen to your attempts to divert the attention elsewhere?

      Methinks you just have a grudge against some Missoulians–that you probably privately refer to as DFH’s–and can’t see past the end of your grudge to see the real issues.

  6. Smokey

    JC’s and his assumuptions…again. Just because you contribute to a blog doesn’t earn you any respect.

    • JC

      I wasn’t asking for your respect. Just that you provide something tangible to debate about instead of just throwing out ad hominem.


      You say I’m making assumptions and missing the big picture. What assumptions and what big picture?

  7. Chuck

    I’m not understanding what you are debating JC.
    Do you think our liberal public officials should be buying tar sands products? I don’t.

    • JC

      Oh, so now we get to the root of your bogeyman: “liberal public officials.”

      Who should be buying tar sands products then? Conservative “public officials?” Or by “tar sands products” are you only referring to bike trails? Would you be happy with conservative public officials buying road improvements in Missoula or Montana? How about conservative public officials buying tar sands products to fix the roads degraded by hauling tar sands products-producing equipment through the state?

      If you want to come out against tar sands products, then by all means just do so. If you want to state you’re against Imperial/Exxon trucking its massive cargo down Montana’s river corridors, then by all means go right ahead.

      But to suggest that because there are bike trails in Missoula (or some public housing project got a grant you opposed) that the DFHs have no right to protest the project (or you object to the protest’s location), then you really have such a huge grudge that you can’t allow yourself to look at the issue objectively.

  8. Chuck

    I would think you would have answered your own question regarding who should buy tar sands before you protest.( Kind of like protesting Blood Diamonds and then getting your wife a little shiny one for Christmas).
    You are trying to create an imaginary playmate JC and I don’t wanna play anymore.
    Good luck with the event up in Greenough. Western Waters will rent you a bus if you need one to conserve resources.

    • JC

      “Imaginary playmate”???

      No, I just asked you to back up your words with some reasonable dialog. Instead you just lay out the flak, and try and collect some points through your “drop-in-the-bucket” dis on people who care about the environment and social justice.

      And it’s not my event, nor am I going or arranging anybody’s travel plans. I just think it is a worthwhile endeavor some folks are getting involved with. Better than sitting back and casting sticks and stones.

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