Montana Public Radio

University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Patrick Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
Courtesy UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Last week a study of what could happen to Montana’s economy under President Obama’s Clean Power Plan came out of the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Opponents of the carbon dioxide reduction plan say it proves dire consequences. Backers of the plan say the study merely reached the predetermined conclusion of the utility company that sponsored it.

Patrick Barkey, author of the study and director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research joined us for an interview about it.

Colstrip power plant as seen in the early 1980s.
David T. Hanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

A study released Wednesday says that complying with President Obama's Clean Power Plan will cost Montana more than 7,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in wages and sales. Those numbers were quickly trumpeted by Montana elected officials who oppose the nationwide plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, including Attorney General Tim Fox, who has joined Montana to a multi-state lawsuit to halt the plan.

A University of Montana study funded by the state’s largest electric utility predicts dire economic consequences to the state because of the president’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The study is drawing sharp criticism from advocates of alternative energy.

PD

Montana's timber industry is watching to see if Canadian lumber will soon flood the market. That's because a 9 year-old U.S.-Canada Lumber trade Agreement expired today.

The UM BBER survey found Montanans seek out local news from all sources.
Courtesy UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research

A new survey of Montanans' news media preferences is out.

"If you compare local to national, local dominates," says John Baldridge, with the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. He did the survey for the Greater Montana Foundation.

Monday, Lake County Community Housing and Ronan Housing Authority has received a $450,000 Montana Department of Commerce grant, the last piece of funding it needs to build a 40-unit apartment complex.
(PD)

Montana's construction industry has come a long way in the past few years, but University of Montana economist Patrick Barkey says the industry is still feeling the effects of The Great Recession.

Bryce Ward, the director of health care research at the University of Montana’s BBER, talks with MTPR News Director Eric Whitney.
Emily Proctor

Today is the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. Right now, nearly one in five Montanans gets health care from Medicare, and the state is poised to expand Medicaid to tens of thousands more people next year.

To get a sense of how important the two federal health programs are to Montana, and some idea of where they’re going in the future, I talked to Bryce Ward, the director of health care research at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Corin Cates-Carney

I’m Corin Cates-Carney at the tenth annual pond skip at the Whitefish Mountain Resort.

A large pool waits for skiers and snowboards at the bottom of the mountainside runway. The goal is to skip across the icy water, dressed in costume, with prizes awarded to those who make it, and those who don’t, but fail in style.

Montana Lawmakers Clash Over State Revenue Estimate

Mar 23, 2015
Montana Legislature

Lawmakers are considering whether to increase the amount of revenue the state of Montana is projected to collect in taxes and fees over the coming three years.

The revenue estimate is an important number for lawmakers to consider as they craft the state budget and consider tax cuts for the coming two years.

The proposed figure is the latest compromise.

Legislators Weigh Lawsuit Over Out Of State Coal Ports

Mar 13, 2015
Coal train
(PD)

Montana legislators are considering giving $1 million to the Montana Department of Justice for a potential lawsuit against states hindering Montana’s coal trains from getting to larger markets. Namely, markets like China.

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