Montana Public Radio

Barack Obama

Gov. Steve Bullock annonces his Coronavirus Task Force on March 3, 2020 in response to the growing number of cases reported in the United States. Bullock says the task force is a multi-agency group that will coordinate public health response.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Bradshaw Sumners watched throughout February as COVID-19 hot spots developed in major American cities, waiting to see when the coronavirus pandemic would manifest in Montana. When it finally did, life for the Livingston resident and father of two changed dramatically. His daughters, 8 and 4 years old, were suddenly home from school. The restaurant group where Sumners works maintenance shut down, thrusting him onto unemployment alongside legions of workers nationwide.

Oil well.
(PD)

Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands.

Pipes for Keystone XL Pipeline.
shannonpatrick17 (CC-BY-2.0)

Construction on the long-stalled Keystone XL Pipeline started Monday, according to a Canadian company. Work on the U.S.-Canadian border kicked off despite calls from tribal leaders and environmentalists to delay the $8 billion project amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Listen now on Campaign Beat: A state legislator stands by his calls for violence against 'socialists.' Montana's two senators split their votes on impeachment. Democrats running for governor are down to two candidates. The AG race has a new twist. And did Barack Obama urge Gov. Bullock to change his mind about a Senate run?

 Jennifer Palmieri
The White House

2016 saw the first woman ever to be nominated for president. This election cycle, six women are vying to be the first female elected president.

As communications director for Hillary Clinton, Jennifer Palmieri had a front row seat to that failed effort. Palmieri was also communications director for President Obama and has written a best-selling book called Dear Madam President.

Palmieri is in Missoula working on another book, and sat down with Sally Mauk to talk about the 2016 campaign—and what it will take for a woman to win in 2020.

KEVIN TREVELLYAN / MONTANA PUBLIC RADIO

Rich Trumka, the president of the country’s largest union federation, the AFL-CIO, was in Montana for the state’s convention in Missoula last week. The federation represents many workers in Montana’s troubled coal industry. 

Trumka is a third-generation miner. The Pennsylvania native can’t accept that workers, like those in Colstrip, are getting squeezed out of their jobs.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Conservation groups are asking a federal judge to block the Trump administration from easing restrictions on energy companies that were meant to protect a struggling Western bird species.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project, Prairie Hills Audubon Society and two other groups made the request Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho.

Hans McPherson at his ranch in the Bitterroot Valley.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A new federal rule that would roll back Clean Water Act protections across the country opened for public comment last week. If finalized, the rule would abandon enhanced protections the Obama administration proposed for a large portion of Montana’s stream mileage and wetlands.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration moved forward Thursday with plans to ease restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling, mining and other activities across millions of acres in the American West that were put in place to protect an imperiled bird species.

Land management documents released by the U.S. Interior Department show the administration intends to open more public lands to leasing and allow waivers for drilling to encroach into the habitat of greater sage grouse.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A federal judge has reinstated an oil and gas lease on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to some Native American tribes.

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