After the impact that the closure of Smurfit Stone had on the broader Missoula economy, specifically the trucking industry, you’d think the City of Missoula would be encouraging more rigs to make the trip through the Garden City.
Add to that, the fact that what the Conoco refinery in Billings is essentially hoping to get delivered amounts to “green” technology. Well, after the latest action from the head shed of the Missoula City Council it appears we are now witnessing the latest incident of “green on green” violence- as the Berkeley…uh- I mean…Missoula City Council looks to add one more hurdle to delivery of the Conoco refinery’s new coker equipment.
To read the latest cheerleading over the Missoula City Council’s doubling of fees on big rigs, click here.
The coker equipment that Conoco is hoping to get delivered allows the refinery to operate more efficiently, and to essentially recycle more of their product. The creation of coker facilities in the Billings area were greatly heralded by the community. According to an email from Billings Refinery Manager Steven Steach, ConocoPhillips directly supports more than 450 jobs in Montana and Idaho, and indirectly supports thousands more. Tax and royalty payments to the State of Montana totalled $60 million in 2009.
I certainly would be interested in hearing a response from City of Billings and Yellowstone County officials. The fact that we still have double digit unemployment in this state, and one Montana city is taking deliberate action that is harmful to another Montana city’s economy is downright shameful.
I hope the former Smurfit Stone employees in Missoula can have a nice Thanksgiving while their own city council continues to play political games. Whether it would be a fair shot or not, I certainly could hear some Yellowstone County officials telling Missoula: “Don’t do to Billings and our refinery, what you did to Missoula with Smurfit Stone.”
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:56 AM
The main reason in Missoula is that the dark side here believe they have a mandate from the socialists here to do the bidding of the ubber left. That is, pass and regulate everything no other reasonable city would consider.
Until we remove some of these dunces, we will continue to see these wild eyed anti Montana values eminating from Missoula. ( Berkley North)