Privatizing Montana, Again

by jhwygirl

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Click on it and you’ll get a nice full-size version of it.

It’s astounding, really, the politicians of both sides of the aisle lining up to hand over private property rights to corporations and private interests large and small.

And foreign, at that! Tonbridge, a Canadian company is the big push on this bill, with Northwestern Energy also a big player in lobbying efforts on HB198.

As the Montana Farmers Union said

“It has been said that politics can make for strange bed-fellows. Watchers of the 62nd Montana Legislature certainly can attest to that.”

All eyes are on Senate Energy & Telecommunications today as they take executive action on HB198.

Have you called 406-444-4800 to leave a message for the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee telling them NO to handing private property rights to private entities?

Protect private property rights.

  1. Pancho

    Buy American!

    (Everything is for sale.)

    • Don Kronenberger

      Also, go online and try to buy 500 kV conductor and gigantic lattice steel towers in America. Some “stimulus.” For them ….

  2. Cowhand

    Did anyone notice that Jason Priest also tied to sponsor
    legislation (HB 226) that would have abolished our abilities to efficiently sell green energy produced via small-scale installations (like solar panels on home rooftops) back to the grid? I believe the bill was tabled, but it shows just how inbred and insidious this whole issue really is insofar as
    its attempts to totally disenfranchise Montanan’s from their energy future. With the right incentives, can you imagine the jobs that would be created within the context of an infrastructure where solar panels on rooftops (e.g., just think of the available surface area of large Helena warehouses alone!) feed energy back to an already functional grid for sale and distribution? But, of course, NW Energy and the Canadians would lose in a deal like that, so it will never happen as long as the jackasses “representing” us in Helena have anything to say about it. Voters need to remember this assault on common sense, not to mention our rights and liberties, when re-election comes around.

    • petetalbot

      I agree, Cowhand, the efforts to derail small-scale, clean energy sources are selfish and short sighted. Thanks for bringing it up.

      I will toss this out, though, since I haven’t received enough abuse lately. I get nervous when folks start bandying about terms like ‘private property rights’ and ‘takings.’ These phrases were the last refuge of the right wing while battling sensible planning, zoning and growth management.

      Do I want private corporations to have the ability to condemn private property for their own gain? Hell no.

      But is their some compromise possible for the just compensation of individual land owners that also advances the public good? As I mentioned in an earlier comment, there are some legislators who I really respect who are supporting HB-198.

      • Cowhand

        Petetalbot, you said…

        “These phrases were the last refuge of the right wing while battling sensible planning, zoning and growth management”

        I am by no means the right wing, more like the middle wing, by which I mean I am a firm believer in compromise. My point in using the terms “rights and
        liberties” in my earlier message were simply to point out that this legislative session, above any other I remember, seems hell-bent on killing our voices as citizens of this state — look at some of the issues, cynide use in mining, health care, I-161, stream
        access, voting registration….and so on — issues that matter to us common folk are being sold off to the highest bidder. I have never been so disgusted with a legislative session as I am with this one.

  3. Joshua Sharp

    Let’s assume the folks supporting this garbage have mothers. Let’s further assume those mothers are good and intelligent people.

    With those assumptions in place can we safely state that their mothers are completely ashamed of their children at this point? Yes – yes I think so.

    Supporters of HB198… you can still fix this. Don’t be the embodiment of why the public doesn’t trust or believe in the government. It is supposed to be FOR the people – not an abuser of them.

  4. Joan Amundson

    Lawmakers read your comments. Tonight there is an article by Mike Dennison “Eminent Domain Law Killed” running in Montana dailies. The bill isn’t completely dead. The gov and those senators with ties to MATL and NWE are lobbying up a hurricane tonight. There will be another meeting of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee tomorrow at 3 pm (if they strong arm some votes, the bill will be blasted to the floor for a final vote). We’ll get to see who bends to pressure and who has integrity. In addition to this blog, lawmakers will be reading the articles listed below. Think about sharing your thoughts online at these newspapers tonight. I think, maybe, just maybe, lawmakers are listening to citizens? Could it be we are making a difference? That’s how this whole democracy thing is suppose to work?

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