There is a danger to democracy. The intimidation of special interest groups espousing one side of an issue, playing on the emotions of the public by misrepresenting facts and selling propaganda. Consequently, creating instability to the economy and disrupting the ability to establish sound policy that will benefit our country as we navigate the issues that affect our lives, economies and environment.
I could reach into a bag and pull out any number of threats, real or perceived to our democracy. I’m talking about the real danger advanced by the systematic misrepresentation of facts and the calculated choice of presenting one extreme side of an opinion, with the very real intent of a predictable outcome: The destruction of the coal industry and the death of communities.
It is time we speak out against untruths and misrepresentation of facts.
Signal Peak Energy’s safety record and their stewardship of the Bull Mountains proves their commitment to excellent best business practices. In 2015 SPE received 266 inspections from Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and currently worked 980 days without lost time accidents. Despite the March 5th Billings Gazette opinion letter that purposefully misrepresented facts, Signal Peak Energy has received no violations from DEQ in the last five years.
Signal Peak Energy provides good paying jobs and pays 36.3% of Musselshell County’s real and personal property taxes. Signal Peak Community Foundation is a generous supporter of our youth, volunteer-civic organizations, hospital and to our city and county. During the historic 2011 flood, SPE provided invaluable help to the county by donating equipment in order to repair critically damaged roads and paying for a helicopter to get miners to and from work. Musselshell County is proud of our mine. We couldn’t ask for a better neighbor.
The Sierra Club, Norther Plains Resource Council (NPRC) Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), Montana Elders for a Livable Tomorrow (MELT), have in this instance, systematically refused to acknowledge the vital connection the coal industry has to the economic health of our nation, state and communities. They purposefully forget that it takes FOSSIL FUELS to build the windmills and solar panels and ship them to designations. Do they think if they shut down extractive mining in the United States that it will just “go away”? Do they not realize the mining will continue in places where there are no regulations? And in the long run, that it is more harmful to the earth? These environmental groups ‘burn it to the ground’ agenda and refusal to acknowledge we don’t yet have a comprehensive solution to the loss of affordable energy, loss of revenue, loss of good paying jobs and to the death of communities is reckless and irresponsible.
Nicole Borner – backup elect Due to Voter Disappointment