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Renewable Energy Missing From Montana Energy Conference Says NPRC

About 60 people gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn to promote renewable energy. The March 29, 2016 rally was sponsored by the Northern Plains Resource Council.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio
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About 60 people gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn to promote renewable energy. The rally was sponsored by the Northern Plains Resource Council.

About 60 people gathered during a wet snowstorm on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn to rally for renewable energy. The event was scheduled to coincide with Senator Steve Daines’ Montana Energy Conference.  

When Daines met with employees before his recent tour of the CHS refinery, he spoke of how electricity in Montana comes from a variety of sources. This includes coal, hydro, and wind.
 
"We’re very unique in that we truly do have an all-of-the-above energy portfolio," Daines said.

But those at the rally organized by Northern Plains Resource Council think Daines’ Montana Energy Conference is focusing too much on coal and not enough on clean-energy.

"Senator Daines, let’s sit down and have a conversation."

Ben Reed is the owner of Winpower West, a renewable energy company based in Billings.
 
"If you are truly interested in an above all energy policy, we need to talk. You’re definitely missing out when you’re not talking to renewable energy."

The former professor of economics and finance says society embraces new technologies. He says there were no policy fights on moving from horse and buggy to automobiles or from typewriters to computers. Reed wants to tell Daines moving away from coal to renewables is no different.

"Let’s sit down and have let’s have a conversation about real jobs growth and real energy independence for the United States of America. Thank you."

The three-day Montana Energy Conference does have a panel discussion on renewables. And Thursday there’s a keynote speaker from the American Wind Energy Association. Most of the sessions, however, are on oil, coal, and the electricity and transmission market.
 

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