Energy issues have consistently been listed as top concerns for Montana voters in 2014. Despite the voter interest in issues ranging from coal exports to EPA regulations, the positions of some candidate on energy issues is still largely undefined. With two debates scheduled for each of the federal races over a four-day span next week, there’s an excellent opportunity for Montana voters to learn where these candidates stand on energy.
The Montana Business Leadership Council has outlined a series of five questions that are still at least partially unanswered by at least one of the federal candidates on the ballot:
- How does a candidate for public office in Montana reconcile major direct and indirect support from environmental groups with a pro-energy campaign platform?
- Should Montana increase coal production above current levels?
- Do you support opening new, Pacific Coast ports to allow for an increase in export capacity for Montana coal?
- Do you believe that the EPA’s proposed rule on greenhouse gas emissions is the best way to address climate change?
- How do you believe we should balance greenhouse gas emission reductions with the costs paid by consumers and businesses?
- Globally, how should we balance the need to address climate change with the need to provide a modern energy supply to 1.6 billion people who live in energy poverty?
“Energy production is vital to Montana’s economy, providing the fastest job growth of any sector in the last five years,” said Eric Sell, a spokesperson for the Montana Business Leadership Council. “Montana’s biggest economic opportunity lies in developing the natural resource wealth we have beneath our feet. Montana voters deserve honest answers as to where these candidates really stand on energy.”