Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Too bad, Colstrip...

Part of being conservative is conserving the environment. Most traditional conservatives think for the long haul, and want their children and grandchildren to enjoy the same things that they do. Which is why local control plays such an important role in environmental issues. One job of a state's elected officials is to protect its environment from the actions of those outside its borders.

Sen. Max Baucus and Gov. Brian Schweitzer are thus justly concerned about the effects that a Canadian coal mine in the Flathead River drainage would have on Montana waters. The fact that such rhetoric makes for good politics on the national Democrat scene is an added bonus.

But then comes this astounding statement:

Schweitzer said he supports developing natural resources, but added that, ''Colstrip, Montana, doesn't look anything like the North Fork'' of the Flathead River.

Montana Headlines hopes that the governor didn't mean that the way it sounds. Otherwise, one could find more valid the concerns expressed by some eastern Montanans that the current Democrat plan is to turn their part of the state into a coal dump that generates tax revenues for the state's liberals (who tend to congregate in western Montana, making life hard on our conservative brethren out there) to spend.

I guess this comment means that when NYT columnist Thomas Friedman was recently (with little fanfare in Montana itself, interestingly) flown in to tour Colstrip, the beauties of eastern Montana weren't exactly being extolled.