MEPA Author Worries Over Bipartisan Changes

Aaron Flint posted on March 30, 2011 08:30 :: 1021 Views

The architect of Montana’s duplicative environmental law, The Montana Environmental Policy Act, says a bi-partisan group of lawmakers “don’t understand what Montana is – they don’t have any appreciation for the place where they live.”

Former Billings legislator George Darrow was profiled in this piece by The Flathead Beacon, where he criticized efforts by Sen. Jim Keane (D-Butte) and Sen. Chas Vincent (R-Libby) to reform MEPA.

Sitting in the 1894 cabin on his property he uses as an office, Darrow described the flurry of bipartisan conservation measures introduced in the early 1970s as a direct response to the decimation of Montana’s land and water over the previous century – and only when that corporate grip began to relinquish was passing such legislation even possible.

“As Anaconda began, letting a little ‘airspace,’ I guess, for other influences, there was widespread feeling in Montana that Montana had a great deal more to offer,” Darrow said. “And that with Anaconda letting go of some of the stranglehold on the state there was a glimmer of daylight, and a possibility that Montana could become its own place.”

So, if I am tracking this correctly:  Mr. Darrow remembers a time when he was in the Legislature that the pendulum was too far to one side….and modern day legislators, Keane (D-Butte) and Vincent (R-Libby), understand that we are now in a time when the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction?  Got it.

By the way- huge rally in Libby coming up in support of the Montanore Mine.  What was the latest unemployment number?  I thought it was 18.1%.  Pardon me, Lincoln County unemployment rate: 19.1% in February.

KAJ-TV has details on the rally here:

Many officials like Libby’s mayor, a county commissioner and the Superintendent of Schools will all be at the rally along with the Northwest Mining Association.

Duane Williams with KTNY radio in Libby says the rally takes place Thursday afternoon at Fireman Park. 

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