Breaking News: Governor Schweitzer a Total Scheisser
Montana’s Coal Cowboy Attempts to Blackmail Local Officials to Support Coal Mine.
Governor Schweitzer–in what is very likely a violation of the Montana State Constitution and most certainly a violation of what most nice, respectable people consider to be civil and decent–is attempting to coerce county governments to proclaim their support for the State Land Board’s recent decision to undersell 572 million tons of coal reserves in the Otter Creek valley to mining giant Arch Coal.
Schweitzer, apparently, sees it as a grave injustice to allow communities that do not support coal development (“whether because they don’t live near hydrocarbon production or other reasons,” in the words of the infinitely wise and eloquent governor himself) to receive state money garnered from said development.
Aside from the blatant illegality of withholding state stimulus funds from local officials until they pay Schweitzer his desired ransom (namely, their dignity), the point that the governor is trying to make (“if you don’t like America, you should move your ungrateful commie ass back to Russia,” essentially) is also problematic. It is this very logic which has, throughout the years, guided the Coal Cowboy in his myopic and asinine political crusade on behalf of the fossil fuels industry.
The issue of Otter Creek coal, however, is not: If we don’t strip mine our last remaining hydrocarbon resources, then we won’t have any money for roads, education, disability services, etc. That’s a ruse, a false dichotomy.
Rather, the actual and utterly exigent problem we face today, right now, here in the real world, runs more along these lines: if we don’t make immediate and dramatic reductions in carbon emissions (from coal and other fossil fuels) then we will continue to see an increase in global-warming caused natural disasters, eventually resulting in an unstoppable positive feedback loop of catastrophic proportions–a total global calamity who’s victims will be (and already are) the people who have contributed the least to its cause.
For more on this, check out:
George Ochenski’s perspicacious observations in the Missoula Independent
The New York Times out-of-state-take on the issue.
The Missoulian’s philosophy on the subject
The Governor’s blackmail letter to the Missoula County Commissioners.