PNS Daily Newscast - January 17, 2020 

Govt. Accountability Office rules that Trump administration violated federal law on aid to Ukraine; and racial disparities in health care.

2020Talks - January 17, 2020 

Just a couple weeks out from the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, four Senators are being pulled off the campaign trail for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Water "Rustling" - New Montana "Crime"?

March 5, 2007

Taking cuts just isn't fair. That's what the farm group Northern Plains Resource Council says about an out-of-state company's request to use two billion gallons of Montana water each year for coal bed methane production, and then sell or ship much of the leftover water to thirsty areas, some in other states. Rosebud Creek rancher Clint McRae says senior water rights holders like him would likely see their wells run dry to benefit the new request. He says letting a private company sell Montana's public water is a dangerous precedent.

"There are places that are really looking for water, such as Denver and Las Vegas. We don't need to be cutting senior water rights holders out of something that's very valuable here so somebody can water in Las Vegas."

Fidelity Exploration and Production Company says shipping the water to areas that need it makes sense. Discharging water after production can damage some Montana lands because of the water's salinity level.

McRae notes the big catch in all of this is that once the out-of-state company has a water right for production, it's permanent. He says that doesn't ring right with many Montanans concerned about long-term use of limited water resources.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MT