Montana Public Radio

Montana Mining Association

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s governor is calling this "Tax Reform Week." Gov. Greg Gianforte’s proposals to change a slew of tax policies for residents and businesses got their first hearing in the state Legislature. An income tax cut proposal received the most debate Thursday morning. 

Jeremy Fleege (L), an environmental engineer with Montana Resources, and Matt Vincent (R), an environmental consultant for MR, at a Stop I-186 event at Butte Brewing Company, October 24, 2018.
Nora Saks / MTPR

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana voters have rejected a ballot initiative that would have increased cleanup standards for companies that plan to open new mines in the state.

The measure that failed in Tuesday's election would have required developers to provide clear evidence in any new hard-rock mining proposal that the mine wouldn't need the perpetual treatment of polluted water after operations end. 

Jeremy Fleege (L), an environmental engineer with Montana Resources, and Matt Vincent (R), an environmental consultant for MR, at a Stop I-186 event at Butte Brewing Company, October 24, 2018.
Nora Saks / MTPR

Campaign contributions in the fight over Montana ballot initiative 186 have roughly doubled over the last month, most of that money is backing opponents of the initiative’s proposed new regulations on mining. MTPR's Nora saks reports from one of their events in Butte. 

Screen capture from the "Stop I-186.com" website Oct. 16, 2018.
Stop I-186.com

Backers of a Montana citizen's initiative that would add new mining regulations say a foreign-owned company is illegally bankrolling an industry campaign against the proposal.

In a complaint Tuesday to the Federal Election Commission, sponsors of Initiative 186 alleged campaign law violations by the Montana Mining Association, Sandfire Resources and others.

The latest campaign finance reports show that a lot of the $3 million that’s flowed into the race for Montana’s I-186 ballot measure so far has come from organizations and individuals with out of state and international ties. 

Nick Mott

The latest fundraising reports say opponents of a ballot initiative aimed at protecting Montana waterways from mine pollution have raised about 25 percent more money than its supporters, despite not taking in any cash in August.

The Montana Supreme Court today unanimously denied a request by the Montana Mining Association to toss out a proposed ballot initiative for being legally insufficient to put before voters.

Sponsors are collecting signatures for the initiative to require future mines to submit reclamation plans that don't require the perpetual cleanup of polluted water after the mines close.

The Berkeley Pit in Butte
Mike Albans


The Montana Mining Association is asking the state Supreme Court to void a proposed ballot initiative that would require state officials to deny mining permits unless proposed mines would not require perpetual environmental cleanup. 

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


An environmental assessment released today from the U.S. Forest Service recommends a 20-year ban on new mining developments on public land in the Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park.

The agency recommends withdrawing more than 30,000 acres from mining exploration.

News Roundup, Week 4 At The Montana Legislature

Feb 2, 2015
The Capitol dome in Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

In the middle of the fourth week of the 64th Montana Legislature, Gov. Steve Bullock took the rostrum in the House of Representatives with a big smile.

“The state of our state is strong,” Bullock said, beginning his State of the State address.

Bullock touted his fiscal discipline and pushed his big legislative priorities, getting multiple standing ovations from Democrats and occasional claps from a few Republicans.