Letters

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Trump’s proposed NEPA rule would be bad policy

Editor,

“In the last few years, it has become increasingly clear that soon some president and some Congress must face the inevitable task of deciding whether or not the objective of a quality environment for all Americans is a top-priority national goal which takes precedence over a number of other, often competing, objectives in natural resource management and the use of the environment. In my opinion, that inevitable time of decision is close upon us.” So said Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson in 1968 when explaining the rationale for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Congress decided and President Richard Nixon agreed by signing the NEPA bill that the federal government — all agencies — must consider the environmental impact of federal projects. Bravo! Wonderful!

National forests protect our watersheds and thereby our clean water. National forests store carbon and thereby help clean our air. National forests provide habitat for wildlifeflora as well as fauna.

Given the success of NEPA in practice for fifty years, there is no public interest in almost reducing the protection of our federal forests.

The Trump Administration’s proposed NEPA Rule for the Forest Service would be bad policy. It would reduce both environmental study and public review of forest management. Subsidized logging, subsidized road building and other development, subsidized gas-oil-or-mineral extraction are not proper functions of national forests.

National forests are owned by the people of the United States, and the Forest Service manages the forests held in trust. The people have a right to comment, to participate in the decision-making process, to have our environment considered as an important variable in any decision. The Forest Service and we the people need the best available science as presented in environmental reviews.

Protect NEPA and our national forests! Reject the rule change.

Anne Millbrooke

Bozeman

Bullock has some questions to answer

Editor,

Meatless Mondays for your school lunch program? Meat grown in a petri dish from a foreign lab? These are questions we need to ask Governor Bullock.

By his executive order, Montana is now obligated to advance the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. In order to meet the Paris objectives everything having a carbon footprint is on the table, including our beef industry.

At present, U.S. meat consumption is about 222 pounds per person per year. Nationally the goal is to reduce this to 35 pounds per person.

In short, Bullock wants to cut Montana meat production by about 85 percent. Thus, our two billion dollar per year cattle industry will be cut to 300 thousand dollars per year. Just to bolster his presidential bid, he aims to cut our beef industry by 1.7 billion dollars.

Several years ago, the Colstrip shutdown announcements were aired. A few “good will” dollars were thrown in later to seal the deal.

Next, it was implied that market forces, not radical environmentalist lawsuits, were to blame.

It is understandable believing these lies once.

Simply put, Colstrip was a beta test to determine if we Montanan’s would stand idly by. We did, thus, their beta test was highly successful.

It isn’t surprising, that today, we sit here with a signed executive order dictating Montana fall in line with the Colstrip example.

Is small town Montana to become ghost town Montana? Are we going to stand idle or are we going to write those letters?

TJ Smith

Billings

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