Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) certainly got a lot of media attention when he and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) brought the drug czar, the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), to the Bakken region of Eastern Montana. You would have imagined, following such a high profile visit, that the senator’s office would be announcing some new resources headed to Eastern Montana.
Instead, there is now little attention being paid to the fact that, despite a big visit by two US Senators and the drug czar, the FBI is apparently looking at pulling agents out of the Sidney, Montana office.
Credit is due to KXGN radio’s Emilie Boyles for breaking this story right around the start of the new year.
Now, according to The Sidney Herald (as previously reported by Emilie Boyles), Senator Tester is urging the FBI to stay in eastern Montana:
Amid increased threat of crime in eastern Montana, Senator Jon Tester is calling on the FBI to “permanently station” its two agents currently based in Sidney.
The Senator said he is responding to reports that the agency is considering moving the agents to North Dakota.
Meanwhile, it sounds like Senator Tester has signed on to some good legislation to lower beer taxes. But why settle for just a sip of economic freedom- why not lower some other taxes for beer drinkers?
The Missoula Independent has this:
Sen. Jon Tester announced last month he was throwing his support behind the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act, a bill aimed at cutting the excise tax on U.S.-brewed beer from $18 per barrel to $9. The measure would also reduce the tax rate for small brewers from $7 per barrel to $3.50. Tester said the effort would help brewers “double-down on their success and strengthen Montana’s reputation for great-tasting beer.”
According to the national Beer Institute, the brewing industry’s use of barley products nationally has skyrocketed from 2.2 million pounds in 1992 to more than 128 million pounds in 2012. MillerCoors currently contracts with more than 800 barley growers in the Northern Rockies, including about 250 in Montana. In 2011, Anheuser-Busch reported to the Montana Legislature that it contracts with 675 barley growers in Montana alone and purchases $55 million worth of malt barley from the state annually.
Now, back to the Bakken, Rob Port has this for Watchdog.org: ND sets daily oil and gas production records for 13th consecutive month
The “director’s cut” report, released by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources on Tuesday, shows the state produced 973,045 barrels per day of oil and more than 1.086 million mcf of natural gas per day in November. That’s up from 945,182 barrels per day of oil and 1.072 million mcf of natural gas in October.
These record-breaking numbers have been heralded by political and industry leaders in the past, but of late the rapid growth in production has become the subject of controversy.