Tester, Baucus: Montana’s ICBMs ‘decrease risk of nuclear war’

 Senators tell panel missiles needed to keep American safe


(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus have a clear message for their Senate colleagues: Montana’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) keep America safe and reduce the risk of nuclear war.


A Senate panel is currently holding hearings on America’s nuclear capabilities.  Tester and Baucus today reminded the panel’s leaders that the nuclear missiles at Malmstrom Air Force Base are the strongest and most cost-effective part of the country’s nuclear defense strategy.


“The ICBM force dramatically decreases the risk of nuclear war by providing a stabilizing and visible constant in our nuclear posture,” Tester and Baucus wrote the panel. 


The United States currently has 450 Minutemen III missiles, evenly divided between Malmstrom, Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, and F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.


Tester and Baucus, who are members of the Senate’s bipartisan ICBM Coalition, note that unlike other parts of the nation’s nuclear defense, the ICBM force has been modernized through 2030.


Earlier this week, Tester and Baucus urged the President to wait until the bipartisan New START agreement with Russia is fully implemented before initiating any new discussions on reducing strategic nuclear weapons.


The Administration’s proposed 2013 budget maintains funding for all 450 ICBMs, and the Defense Secretary has previously stated that the U.S. will retain between 400 to 420 ICBMs by the time the bipartisan New START agreement is implemented in 2017.  The Senators also renewed their call for any future ICBM reductions to be made equally and incrementally among the three bases. 


Tester’s and Baucus’ letter to Senators Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was also signed by the co-chairmen of the bipartisan Senate ICBM coalition, Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).


The letter is available online HERE.




Contact:          Andrea Helling or Dan Malessa – (202) 228-0371 (Tester) or Kate Downen 406-224-5056/Kathy Weber 406-329-7980/Jennifer Donohue 202-224-2651 (Baucus)


Rehberg Promotes Montana’s “All-of-the-Above” Energy Solutions in Invitation for House Energy & Commerce Committee Visit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today sent a letter to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (MI-06) inviting him to visit Montana with his committee and any members interested in seeing what an “All-of-the-Above” energy solution can look like.  Rehberg serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water and has been a consistent leader for a comprehensive energy policy in Congress.

“Increased production of domestic energy not only reduces our dependence on foreign oil and keeps prices down, but it creates good paying jobs in the process,” said Rehberg.  “Montana is not only an example for what can be accomplished when we produce our own energy, but a warning for what we stand to lose from dangerous policies like cap & tax which could effectively destroy an entire sector of our economy.  I invited the Energy and Commerce Committee to come out to Montana to see why we’re called the Treasure State.”

Rehberg’s full letter is below:

Dear Chairman Upton:

As Americans struggle to afford the increasing cost of energy, I have enjoyed working closely with you to find long-term energy solutions.  Like you, I think we must find a way to reduce our dependence on foreign energy, decrease costs and create jobs.  That’s why I want to invite you and the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee to my home state of Montana.  Montana is a warehouse of energy opportunities, and can provide a critical component of a comprehensive national energy policy.  We’ve got just about everything in Montana – coal, oil, wind, oil, solar, geothermal, biomass.

According to AAA, the average price of gasoline has steadily increased for weeks, reaching $3.89 a gallon nationally and $3.60 in Montana.  High gas prices impact just about every other segment of the economy as people choose to stay home and spend less.  Montana can help reduce the soaring costs as a leader in developing alternative and renewable energy, as well as producing traditional energy like coal and oil in an environmentally responsible manner.  While Montana has an abundance of natural resources, our most valuable resource is the hard-working folks with the expertise to utilize those resources safely and cleanly.

The opportunities for Montana to increase its role have been hamstrung by onerous regulations and legislation being crafted in D.C.  For instance, the job-killing greenhouse gas regulations by this Administration under the Clean Air Act have been estimated to cost consumers billions of dollars.  This is on top of the taxpayer money that will be needed for all of the new regulators that the EPA will have to hire in order to enforce the new rules.  These policies, along with cap and trade, are backdoor attempts by the Obama Administration to impose its anti-energy agenda which will have devastating consequences on economic growth and job creation.  Before the Administration unilaterally imposes burdensome regulations there should be opportunity for congressional input.

Visiting Montana could provide valuable insights into what’s working, and just as importantly, what can be done better.  You can explore the good-paying energy jobs in Montana and hear first-hand what these devastating anti-energy policies would have on those jobs and the communities they support.  Thank you for your consideration of this request, and please don’t hesitate to contact my office if I can be of further assistance.

Montana Steelworkers Endorse Kim Gillan for Congress

“Kim’s experience is unmatched, her record is unrivaled,

and her resolve is exactly what Montana deserves in the U.S. House.”

Billings, MT – Montana State Senator and Democratic candidate for Congress Kim Gillan today announced that Montana Steelworkers locals 11-470 and 11-443 have officially endorsed her campaign for Montana’s lone seat in the United States House of Representatives.

“Throughout her career, Kim Gillan has always spoken up for working Montanans,” Wade Johnson, Chairman of Steelworkers Local 11-470, said. “No matter how difficult the task, Kim has proven time and again that she knows how to get things done for Montana and deliver real results that make a difference. Kim’s experience is unmatched, her record is unrivaled, and her resolve is exactly what Montana deserves in the U.S. House.”

Steelworkers Local 11-470 and 11-443 represents over 540 working men and women in and around Yellowstone County.

“Kim Gillan has stood shoulder to shoulder with Montana’s working men and women for years, and she has never once let us down,” Keith Crookston, head of Steelworkers Local 11-443, said. “In this race, the choice couldn’t be clearer: Kim Gillan will be an effective and results driven leader who will deliver for Montana.” 

“From the very beginning, my campaign has focused on creating and sustaining good paying jobs for Montana families,” Gillan said. “That’s why I’m proud to have the support and endorsement of the hard working men and women of Steelworkers Locals 11-470 and 11-443.”   

Kim Gillan is an experienced and results driven State Senator from Billings who oversees the Workforce Development program at MSU-Billings, an effort committed to making sure that the state’s workers and young people have the skills needed to compete and excel in today’s changing economy. Gillan served 16 years in the Montana Legislature, where she encouraged new, good-paying jobs, stood up and spoke out for balanced and responsible budgets, supported Montana’s small businesses, created a fairer tax system for working families, and implemented an insurance mandate in Montana that covers diabetes and autism.

Kim Gillan has also received the endorsements of Teamsters Local 190, the Montana Public Employees Association, and the following legislative and community leaders:

Sen. Shannon Augare, Browning; Sen. Gary Branae, Billings; Rep. Tony Belcourt, Box Elder; County Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County; Rep. Robyn Driscoll, Billings; Sen. Tom Facey, Missoula; Rep. John Fleming, Saint Ignatius; Rep. Cynthia Hiner, Deer Lodge; County Commissioner Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County; Rep. Sue Malek, Missoula; Rep. Bill McChesney, Miles City; Rep. Mary McNally, Billings; Sen. Lynda Moss, Billings; Rep. Trudi Schmidt, Great Falls; Sen. Kendall Van Dyk, Billings; Sen. Gene Vuckovich, Anaconda; Sen. Dave Wanzenried, Missoula; Fmr. Rep. Paul Beck, Red Lodge; Fmr. Sen. Vivian Brooke, Missoula; Fmr. Rep. Rosie Buzzas, Missoula; Fmr. Rep Gary Forrester, Billings; Fmr. Rep. Eve Franklin, Helena; Fmr. Rep. Julie French, Scobey; Fmr. Rep. Kathleen Galvin Halcro, Great Falls; Fmr. Rep. Carol Gibson, Billings; Fmr. Rep. George Golie, Great Falls; Fmr. Rep. Wanda Grinde, Great Falls; Fmr. Rep. Mary Ann Guggenheim; Fmr. Rep. Robin Hamilton, Missoula; Fmr. Sen. Ken Hansen, Harlem; Fmr. Rep. Hal Jacobson, Helena; Fmr. Sen. Judy Jacobson, Butte; Fmr. Rep. Deb Kottel, Great Falls; Fmr. Sen. Jeff Mangan, Great Falls; Fmr. Rep. Gary Matthews, Miles City; Fmr. Sen. Bea McCarthy, Anaconda; Fmr. Rep. Scott McCulloch, Billings; Fmr. Rep. Joe Quilici, Butte; Fmr. Rep. Holly Raser, Missoula; Fmr. Sen. Emily Stonington; Fmr. Montana United Transportation Union President Fran Marceau; Chuck Cashell, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 400 Business Manager.

Bullock Issues Statement on Petition Filed in U.S. Supreme Court by Group Seeking to Dismantle Montana’s Campaign Finance Laws

Bullock Issues Statement on Petition Filed in U.S. Supreme Court by Group Seeking to Dismantle Montana’s Campaign Finance Laws


HELENA – Attorney General Steve Bullock issued the following statement regarding the petition for certiorari filed in the U.S. Supreme Court today by American Tradition Partnership, seeking to reverse the Montana Supreme Court decision that upheld the 1912 Corrupt Practices Act.


“It is disappointing that a Washington, D.C.-based group believes that the highest court in our nation should discard Montana’s century-old law without even a day in court.  We should expect better.

“In Montana, campaigning still means going door-to-door and meeting face-to-face with voters, which is democracy at its best.  I look forward to continuing to defend our laws from this series of lawsuits, and protecting the way Montanans have, for a century, chosen to elect our public servants.” 



Tester: Keystone oil must stay in the U.S.

Senator introduces measure to address gas prices


(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is fighting to keep Keystone XL Pipeline oil in the United States, saying the project can strengthen America’s domestic energy security and help address gas prices. 


Tester today introduced an amendment that will require all Keystone XL Pipeline oil to be refined and sold in the United States.


Tester, who has voted to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline three times, says that once the pipeline is built, its oil should be used to support American families and small businesses. 


“I support the Keystone XL pipeline because it will help reduce our dependence on oil from hostile countries,” Tester said.  “But to truly build energy independence, we need to keep the oil here in the U.S.—not ship it overseas. Keeping this oil here at home moves us closer to energy security, which increases our economic and national security as well.”


The Keystone XL Pipeline will run through Montana and include an on-ramp in Baker to deliver up to 100,000 barrels of Bakken oil per day.  This will help increase access to markets and reduce constraints currently faced by Montana producers. 


The Keystone XL pipeline is projected to bring 735,000 barrels of oil a day to existing refineries in the Gulf Coast.


Tester specifically strengthened protections for private property in December’s bipartisan agreement that forced a decision on permitting the project.  He also recently called on TransCanada, the company behind the project, to begin responsibly building sections of the pipeline in Montana.


Construction of the section of the Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing, Okla. to the Gulf Coast will start this year.


Tester is an advocate for responsibly developing all available energy sources in Montana.  His Keystone XL amendment is available online HERE.




Contact:          Andrea Helling or Dan Malessa – (202) 228-0371

Tester backs bill to restore promised leave for Montana servicemembers

Senator calls decision to strip leave from troops ‘unacceptable’


(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is fighting a Defense Department rule that strips leave from National Guard and Reserve troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Senator Tester sponsored a bill to restore leave lost by National Guard members and Reservists when the Defense Department changed its leave policy.  The bill also ensures that any changes to troop leave do not affect those already deployed overseas.


Last fall, the Defense Department decided to cut leave for National Guard and Reserve members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  As a result, at least 36 members of the Montana National Guard were negatively affected by this change.


“Our Guardsmen have done more than their duty in fighting for Montana and this nation,” Tester said.  “Promising our troops leave time to see their families and then reneging on that promise is completely unacceptable.”


Tester previously sponsored legislation to ensure time deployed by National Guard and Reserve members is credited toward retirement.


Tester’s bill is available online HERE.



Rehberg’s Bill to Preserve Grazing Rights Helps Montana Ranchers, Economy

WASHINGTON D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, introduced legislation with Congressman Raul Labrador (ID-01) to help strengthen the long-term economic outlook for Montana’s livestock community.  The Grazing Improvement Act of 2012 will benefit the grazing permit process for federal lands by helping to prevent environmental groups from using spurious judicial delays to prevent multi-use purposes of public lands.

“This bill helps restore some badly needed stability to an industry that is the heart and soul of the Montana economy,” said Rehberg, a fifth-generation Montana rancher and member of the Congressional Rural Caucus. “Ranchers with grazing permits make large investments in the health of our public lands and are America’s first and best conservationists. But their ability to care for the land is being compromised because the grazing permit process has fallen victim to an all-too-familiar ploy of environmental obstructionists who prevent multiple use of our public lands by flooding the court system with dubious claims. We need to clean this up, and this bill helps do that.”

Under current law, livestock grazing permits are issued for 10 years, after which a new environmental analysis is required before the permit can be renewed.  However, due to the backlog of appeals and lawsuits filed by extreme environmental groups, permitting agencies are tasked with repetitive work and other unnecessary burdens and are unable to complete the required analysis before the permits expire.  For the past decade, grazing permit holders and public land managers have had to rely on Congress to issue temporary 1-year permits, generally through language attached to larger bills, which makes the permit renewals unreliable. The Grazing Act allows the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service to continue issuing grazing permits while the required environmental analysis is pending.

The bill enjoys broad grassroots support from organizations including the Montana Wool Growers Association (MWGA), the Montana Stockgrowers Association, and the Montana Public Lands Council.

MWGA President, Randy Tunby heralded Rehberg’s support for the measure.  “I appreciate Congressman Rehberg’s support of this common-sense legislation,” said Tunby, from Baker, MT. “From his experiences as a rancher, Denny understands how important this bill is for Montana’s ag producers.  It would provide much needed certainty for our members, and ensure that federal land use decisions are no longer made just for the benefit of anti-job environmentalists who misuse the court system to prevent the general use of our public lands.”

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