MTPR

Eric Whitney

News Director

Eric Whitney is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

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Cheri Trusler

A meeting to talk about reducing Montana’s carbon dioxide emissions drew more than 150 people to a Missoula hotel last night.

Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality invited people to hear about and comment on their “white paper,” which shows five different strategies for the state to reduce Co2 emissions to meet a new federal target. That target for Montana is to reduce Co2 emissions by 21 percent by the year 2030.

Cheri Trusler

Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality was in Missoula Thursday night to talk about reducing carbon dioxide emissions. It was the last in a series of three public meetings around the state. The agency was explaining the options it’s come up with to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Montana, so the state can meet goals set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

It was also taking public comments. Missoula resident Jan Holm said, "If we’re really serious about reducing pollution and addressing climate change, we have to stop burning coal."

“Firewise” by Monte Dolack used by permission via Headwaters Economics

It’s estimated that at least 30 percent of the money the Forest Service and BLM spend on wildfires is spent to protect private property, like homes on the edge of public lands.

A new report from Headwaters Economics in Bozeman offers strategies to keep that number from growing.

Ray Rasker is Headwaters’ executive director, he spoke with Eric Whitney about the non-profit group's new report.

Sen. Duane Ankney (R) SD20
Montana Legislature

Tonight Governor Bullock’s proposal for how Montana can reduce C02 emissions from its coal fired power plants gets its first public airing at a meeting in Colstrip.

More public meetings will follow in Billings tomorrow night, and Missoula on Thursday. The administration is trying to meet a goal set by the Environmental Protection Agency for Montana to reduce C02 emissions 21 percent by the year 2030.

Dr. George Risi

 

Dr. George Risi is an infectious disease specialist in private practice in Missoula. He’s just returned from working with the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone treating around 300 Ebola patients, and training medical workers in Cuba that were on their way there.

 

On Friday he returned to Missoula,  Eric Whitney talked with him Sunday at a local coffee shop.

St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
Courtesy St. Patrick Hospital

Today Providence Saint Patrick Hospital in Missoula said that it is ready to admit a patient with Ebola if the need arises. A hospital press release says there are no immediate plans for an Ebola patient to be sent there, but that it has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to treat such patients.

The release says its special Care and Isolation Unit is separate from other patient areas and has equipment that “provides an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation compared to standard hospital rooms.”

 

There are pretty sharp differences in the candidates running for the two Montana Supreme Court seats being contested this fall. They came out at a candidate forum in Missoula on Tuesday.

One of the big issues at the forum was campaign financing, both for this year’s Supreme Court race and for elections in general.

The candidates talked about the 2010 Citizens United case in the US Supreme Court. It allowed unlimited independent corporate spending in federal elections. The high court applied that ruling to state elections in 2012.

Montana's Department of Environmental Quality reports HERE that the persistent wildfires in Idaho have caused significant impacts in western Montana this morning. Cumulative concentrations are currently UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Hamilton and Frenchtown and MODERATE in Missoula and Seeley Lake. Smoke began to move into the Bitterroot Valley and Missoula area yesterday evening.

Eric Whitney

Missoula Mayor John Engen says he understands Algonquin's intent in buying Mountain Water, but he's not convinced the company can actually buy it, given the city's attempts to take ownership by condemnation from The Carlyle Group. Engen spoke at a press conference in his office this morning after meeting with Algonquin's CEO.

The state of Montana has a new set of proposed options for reducing how much carbon dioxide the state’s coal burning power plants release. Those options, released by Governor Bullock Friday, have won praise from both the Montana Environmental Information Center, and PPL, the company that owns the Colstrip power plant, which is the state’s largest C02 emitter.

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