Schweitzer tackles Black Butte Copper Mine on MCVcast
“You’re not going to like to hear this, Montana,” Former Governor says on new podcast
(BILLINGS, Mont.) – Former Governor Brian Schweitzer tackles the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s recent permitting of the controversial Black Butte copper mine near the headwaters of the famed Smith River in today’s episode of MCVcast, the new weekly podcast produced by Montana Conservation Voters.
“We know the consequences of that in Montana,” Schweitzer says of the new permit. The mining company claims it will safely store acidic, toxic wastewater underground in perpetuity—a claim Schweitzer, MCV and other opponents of the mine question.
“No one in the history of the world has been able to contain geologic water forever,” Schweitzer adds. “If they do build this mine and do follow through by the letter, it still doesn’t put us out of the woods. I guess Montana is going to have a wait and see.”
Schweitzer, who served two terms as Montana’s governor from 2004-2012, covers a range of issues in MCVcast with MCV executive director Aaron Murphy.
Today’s episode also highlights Schweitzer’s book about the future of energy in America, Power Up: How the Coming Revolution Will Empower You, Free Us All From Oil Wars and Make You a Buck or Two, and Montana’s current conundrum with what Schweitzer says is a monopoly energy utility “you should always be suspicious of.”
Schweitzer also takes on Montana’s Public Service Commission, which regulates private, investor-owned natural gas, electric, telephone, water and private sewer companies that do business in Montana.
“If we actually had someone on the Public Service Commission that knew something about energy and were supportive of the consumers and not the producers, they’d raise their hands and say, ‘actually I noticed in the last legislature that you’re trying to change the rules so you can charge more,’” Schweitzer says of how the Montana PSC is approaching renewable energy.
“You’re not going to like to hear this, Montana: The rest of the world is ahead of us,” Schweitzer adds.
MCVcast focuses on current conservation headlines and interviews. Other topics this week include the sudden construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Trump Administration’s weakening of mercury pollution in coal and oil-fired power plants, and a new survey on public lands released by the University of Montana.
For more information about the MCVcast, subscribe to Montana Conservation Voters’ YouTube channel HERE.
Montana Conservation Voters is a statewide non-partisan membership organization dedicated to fighting for Montana’s air, water, open spaces, wildlife and public health. MCV provides voter participation services to over 72,000 Montanans. Visit mtvoters.org for more details. •