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MT Statehouse Heating Up With Global Warming Bills

February 21, 2007


Montana legislators have been cynically "thanking" global warming for weather warm enough to step outside during breaks this year. At the same time, however, they are concerned about the lack of snow in the mountains.

Lawmakers are proposing several bills to address the issue, such as one that encourages clean coal technology and the capture of carbon dioxide pollution from the state's current and planned coal plants.

Republican State Senator John Brueggeman supports requiring state fleets and even consumers to use cleaner-burning fuels.

"So what we have to do is be proactive about changing the type of fuel that we use, because bio-diesel, along with other biofuels, actually produces a much smaller carbon footprint."

Kelly Flaherty Settle is a multi-generational Montana rancher. She says changes in temperature and moisture in recent years have affected her financially.

"We are now at the point where we are lucky if we get one cutting of hay. We are basically paying the cost of global
warming."

Reverend Brady Vardemann, with the Montana Association of Churches, says it's time for Montanans to reflect on their moral obligation as stewards of the land.

"Ownership of the land is not absolute, but rather it is a sacred trust given by God to be shared on behalf of all
people who are living in the present and those who will follow us in the future."

Global warming still has some critics in Montana, who argue human impact on the rate of warmth is exaggerated.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MT