Archive for the ‘Montana Power’ Category

by jhwygirl

HB198 was transmitted to Governor Schweitzer last Friday, April 29th.

In his hands sits a bill that he knows is bad.

Schweitzer is, in fact, quite the hypocrite when it comes to this eminent domain bill. He lobbied heavily for this bill, from the opening of the session when he called this eminent domain bill one of the the legislature’s “most important acts” in his State of the State address back in January:

Third and this might be your most important task and if you get it right it will create thousands of jobs in Montana, if you get it wrong or you don’t finish it there will be pink slips that go to workers across Montana.

I guess Governor Schweitzer thinks if he keeps telling the press that the eminent domain bill is bad and crappy and the legislature needs to fix it, that the property owners in Northwest Energy and Tonebridge’s sights and the large number of people in opposition to this bill will feel better about the bill if (when?) he signs it or let’s it lapse into law.

In reality, what’s likely going to happen when Tonbridge go to court to force a takings on a private property owner, more property owners around the state are going to realize exactly and precisely the affects of HB198. Someone will be to blame. Since the bill had opposition and supporters on both sides of the aisle, it’s pretty easy to see where the finger-pointing is going to go.

And since he will represent to many “The Democrats,” it’s going to be “The Democrats” that are going to get targeted as anti-private property rights for…well – forever. Kinda like everyone blames Racicot and the Republicans with selling off Montana Power.

It’s a legacy that Democrats who voted on the wrong side of this bill may want to consider.

Who got played?

There was a straightforward way to do this if that is truly what they wanted to do – but the legislature and the Governor back-doored this bill in the Major Facilities Siting Act, which is amended every darn session it seems to get around any number of regulations.

So Montana becomes a colony for Canada when we hand over eminent domain power to Tonbridge, a Canadian company. And don’t forget China, either, as Otter Creek will also bring with it a railroad to transport the stuff for Wyoming and for China.

Which is another thing Governor said wouldn’t happen in his 2011 State of the State:

We will develop Montana’s energy on Montana’s terms, not as a colony for our energy hungry country.

What I want to know is while Governor Schweitzer is very vocal (lately) about how crappy this bill is…and while he lobbied very heavily for this bill – having his staff on the floor for both debates….why didn’t he speak up sooner?

Why didn’t he propose a bill?

He could have offered testimony during committee. His office did it for other bills.

This eminent domain bill HB198 will have the impact that the sale of Montana Power had on this state.

Veto it, good Governor.

by jhwygirl

Aside from my own personal feelings on texting-while-driving regulations (texting only being pretty much unenforceable) the Montana GOP sent quite a message in the legislature on Friday, such that Senate Minority Leader Carol Williams at the end of the day called it “Black Friday” and “the absolute worst day of the legislative session.”

HB516 moves forward out of Senate Judiciary to a floor vote probably Monday. Amendments were made on Friday that aim it at ordinances only, leaving intact Bozeman’s equality resolution. (Search HB516 here for more background.)

The conservative attack on the budget was in full mode in Senate Finance Friday morning, and among the leaders speaking out against unnecessary cuts and a lack of priorities were the governor’s budget director David Ewer and Health & Human Services Director Anna Whiting-Sorrel. The message was loud and clear from Schweitzer’s office – and even Bloomberg Businessweek picked up the story.

There was more, and to be honest, I am ill-informed on the entirety of it all. As for the topic at hand, though…..

HB241, a bill that would make texting-while-driving illegal, with a $100 fine was postponed indefinitely on the floor of the Senate after passing Senate Judiciary on an 8-4 vote. The bill was proposed by Sen. Christine Kaufmann.

Match that up with the House Judiciary tabling Senator Tom Facey’s bill which would have taken Montana’s laws which make intercourse between two consenting people of the same sex illegal.

SB276 cleared the Republican-controlled Senate with a 49-1 vote.

That law is, btw, unconstitutional under the Montana Constitution….and it is also proudly part of the Montana Republican Party platform.

The Montana GOP is an embarrassment.

I wonder if the House Republicans have the guts to allow it to a floor blast vote.

If they don’t allow a floor blast vote, they’re cowards.

by jhwygirl

Not exactly a classy way to go out the door, posting this:

I guess if he doesn’t give a you-know-what, why should I?

Doug “woe-is-me” Mood fails to recognize that quite possibly his loss was tied to his lack of support for green and alternative energy or his infamous vote while in the legislature which led to deregulation of Montana Power – and what observers around the nation recognize as a massive catastrophic mistake for the citizens of Montana. Instead blames it on Missoulians:

I managed to put together a majority of the votes in every county of the PSC District,…except Missoula. Coming out of Missoula County I was 11,400 votes behind. In the rest of the district I was ahead by 8000 votes.

My opponent got 15,359 votes in the non-Missoula counties, and 32,616 in Missoula County (two thirds of her total vote).

I got 23,359 votes in the non-Missoula counties and 21,222 votes in Missoula county.

I want to thank all the voters of District who have so kindly given me their support over the past many years. Perhaps we’ll meet again.

Oh, those crazy Missoulians….

You know, maybe – just perhaps – the voters in PSC district 4 recognized that Gail Gutsche would use her time in the PSC to seek to expand development of renewable and clean energy sources while recovering low cost options and ensure that we have low energy prices while doing it?

In other words – maybe Gail Gutsche was the best candidate.

Mood also takes the time to post a full map of the United States, showing the winner of the presidential race, county by county, democrat v republican. How that correlates with his loss in the PSC, well, let’s just say that’s lost upon me. Be sure to check it out.

On the other hand, it looks like Bill Clinton has gotten a reprieve from being blamed for everything. I’m sure he’s relieved.

by Pete Talbot

Goldman Sachs fared much better than Montana Power, the company it helped bankrupt.

For ninety years, the Montana Power Company (MPC) had been a reliable and profitable company. In 1997, it pushed energy deregulation through the Montana legislature, freeing the company to diversify. From 1999 through 2000, on advice from Goldman Sachs, it sold off its power generation and transmission capabilities and entered into the high-risk telecommunications business. In 2003, MPC (renamed Touch America) filed for bankruptcy, having lost around $2.5 billion.

Goldman Sachs, however, received $20 million from MPC for its expertise and counsel during this disastrous transition.

Now it’s 2008 and another bubble has burst. But Goldman Sachs looks like it will weather this one, too. It’s been transformed from an investment bank to a bank holding company to ease investor panic.

This change allows what was the biggest investment bank on Wall Street to help itself to more federal funds and to buy time to stabilize its funding base, according to

Montana Power didn’t have the Fed to fall back on. MPC stockholders got screwed and Montana energy consumers are still feeling the pain.

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