First Jobs Report on Pro-Coal Legislation at the Legislature

by jhwygirl

Montana’s GOP promised jobs. Been wondering where those jobs are from this past legislative session out of Helena? The constitutionally-mandated Environmental Quality Council (EQC) met today and received its first report on HB533, a bill that was going to increase coal leasing and create jobs.

This pro-coal jobs bill was sponsored by Reps. Tom Berry, Duane Ankney, Sterling Small, Alan Olsen, and Bill McChesney, who is the lone Democrat.

It also requires regular reporting on the jobs created.

How many jobs created by making it easier to get coal leases? Apparently zero, since there weren’t even any new coal leases brought forward since the thing was signed into law on May 6th.

Don’t know how you can get any more factual that that – a legislatively mandated jobs report on a bill that was supposed to create jobs.

Think about this, too: The coal industry was behind this bill pushing and prodding and, as we all know, they probably wrote 90% of the original as submitted if not the entire thing. Would’t you think they’d be hopping all over this bill once it was approved?

Maybe we should be requiring that kind of report for all legislation that proports to create jobs. Then we’d know who’s doing their job and who’s blowing smoke where the sun don’t shine.

  1. There couldn’t be too much of a problem with jobs in Montana.
    WE are 2nd in folks working 2 jobs and feature this We are
    1st /FIRST in folks working 3/ that’s THREE jobs to maintain survival !
    Not only that Montana is 49th on the Wage Scale up from 50th and in the last 40+ years there has been a stat on this we’ve only managed to be 49th and 50th except the first year the stat was kept.
    Only 1 in 9 in Montana make a Living Wage! yeaaa and most if not all of those are UNION employees.

    may all repugs go to Somalia forever today

    • I saw something recently where Montana ranks up there in persons with 2 or more jobs…something like that.

      And while we haven’t been 49th for at least a short time, we are 43rd in 2009, 42nd in 2008 and 38th in 2007. From Wiki.

      At least we’re beating Alabama and Kentucky.

      • it seems to me that william faulkner wrote a good short story about the subservience of the sharecropper to the landlord… this country has turned from landlord to sharecropper in a little more than three decades.

        and now that unemployment is widespread and growing, american workers are reduced to grovelling hat in hand to beg forgiveness from our corporate landlords for daring to soil their foyer carpets by having unions, meanwhile the people we elected to represent us side with the landlords because they depend on them for their jobs.

        time for a good old fashioned barn burning if you ask me.

  2. Pogo Possum

    Your criticism is a bit unfair. HB533 was only signed on May 6th, barely 4 months ago. Give it sometime.

  3. Rep. Mike Miller

    It seems to me that the 2 major provisions of this bill are 1)allowing, at the land board discretion, the company that acquires a lease to amortize the bonus payment over 5 years and 2) it extends the lease period by whatever time any challenges to the lease delay the process. So tying up a 10 yr lease in court for 3 years will extend the lease period by 3 years.

    Do you think that Otter Creek would have been approved if Arch could have spread the payments out over 5 yrs instead of bailing out the governor with an immediate $86 million payment upfront?

    I would not call this a significant jobs bill that would produce jobs in a short period of time. 10 R’s voted for the bill in committee and 5 D’s voted against it.

    • In answer to your defacto question – It probably depends on the land board.

      Would Otter Creek had been approved? With this land board? Yep. That has more to do with politics than anything else…because factually speaking, Otter Creek coal was welfare for Wyoming and Chinese interests.

      There’s a part of me that thinks most of that coal will never be mined – Wyoming wants that railroad. Wyoming needs that railroad. And the easiest way to get it was to get Otter Creek.

      All this talk has me wondering now how many coal leases were approved since Otter Creek. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number were “zero” too.

      I don’t think that 86M went into the general budget. It went into the trust fund for schools. You guys pulled out of that trust fund this year to fund schools. That it bailed out the budget is untrue, though even the governor touted that payment when tooting on his surplus (back in March April May).

      McCulloch, too, had her own missteps in saying how the bonus payment would be spent. Everyone seems to forget the legislature decides how to spend our money.

      Unless, of course, there’s some funny accounting going on.

      • Rep. Mike Miller

        My understanding is the $86 million allowed $86 million allocated for education to be spent otherwise. The school trust did not see an increase of $86 million. It merely got $86 million that was already allocated for it. Had the Montana not received that, along with about $30 million for saving teacher jobs plus about $30 million for medicaid (all told we got about $205 million of special one time money that was not in the previous revenue forecast) I’m pretty sure we would have had a special session. Of course, I could be wrong.

  1. 1 Does Coal Cash Turn Protestors into Hippiecrites? | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] First Jobs Report on Pro-Coal Legislation at the Legislature […]

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