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July 13, 2016     Sidney Herald
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July 13, 2016
 

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6A, WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 2016 Viewpoints SIDNEY HERALD Orlando terrorist attack bears a weight that cannot be overstat- ed. There are 49 American families - mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends - who said goodbye and buried their loved ones far too soon. Montana is a long way from Orlando, but across our state there were vigils mourning this unneces- sary loss of life. Montana, and the nation, unite with Orlando. This terrorist attack, the deadliest in American history since 9/11, was ex- ecuted by a terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS. Threats of terror within our borders and against our allies continue to grow. We need a sound strategy to deter and defeat this ris- ing threat. The threat posed by ISIS requires urgent and decisive action. In Febru- ary, Director of National Intelligence James Clap- per, said that ISIS and is 'Terrorism will not find shelter in America. Terrorists will find no hiding place in our communities." Steve Daines U.S. senator the number one terrorist threat. ISIS inspires acts of terror all over the world and is recruiting more through social media cam- paigns and child training camps in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Director Clapper stated ISIS fighters are using the refugee exodus from Iraq and Syria to disguising themselves among inno- cent civilians and exploit the resources and free- doms provided by these countries. The President's refugee acceptance would surely make America the next country to fall victim to their schemes. Since 2014 ISIS has com- mitted or inspired at least 126 terrorist attacks in 23 countries. These attacks have killed nearly 1,800 people and injured thou- sands more. We cannot anow more Americans to add their loved ones to the death toll. President Obama's proposed refugee accep- tance fails to prevent the irrational and perverse goals of ISIS and its abil- ity to inspire tragedies like Orlando. Obama has called ISIS a "JV team". Let's be clear: the goal of ISIS, ISIL, DAESH and any other name for radical Is- lamic groups is to destroy the very freedoms that make our nation great. Now is not the time to relax the safety of our borders or the security of our neigh- borhoods. Enemies of the state should not receive a refugee ticket for Senator entry to America. Montan- Steve Dainesans are compas- sionate, but we are also an intelligent. We should address the hu- man condition of refugees at the source of their strife, in the familiarity of their own geography and in the heritage of their own cities. At this time, we cannot complete compre- hensive and exhaustive background checks on these refugees. The Obama adminis- trations current process fails to address the lack of information and insuf- ficient data that security departments from at risk countries submit for investigation. ISIS fighters currently have access to passport making facili- ties and are already using forged Syrian passports to pose as legitimate travel- ers. We cannot allow our president to remain pas- sive as these criminals lay foundations in our soil or file for residency in our neighborhoods. It is time to respond to Orlando at- tack with a comprehensive strategy to eliminate every safe haven for radicalism on our shores. Terrorism will not find shelter in America. Ter- rorists will find no hiding place in our communities. We will ensure that they are unable to inflict any more pain on our neigh- bors, our friends and our families, President Obama's refugee resettlement policy puts innocent Americans at risk. That's why I support the Syrian Refugee Verifica- tion and Safety Act, which would suspend the resettle- ment of Syrian refugees in the U.S. until we have 100 percent certainty that refugee candidates are safe and secure to enter this country We cannot relax our internal security at the height of global insecu- ritz. The Syrian Refugee Verification and Safety Act will counteract the Obama administration's attempt to muddle the alarm of Orlando. In the aftermath of these terrible tragedies that we experience far too often, we must remember that we are fighting a war against radical Islam. ISIS and radical Islam is our enemy The senseless hate of radical Islam and ISIS will not defeat, but rather strengthen our resolve and commitment to defend freedom. Our nation is strong, and together we will ensure victory over the terrorists who wish to destroy our way of life. BY JESSICA SENA t both the state and federal level, government agencies are ~comprised of appointed, not elected, personnel. That being said, these positions are nearly always mired in partisanship; appointees' ideologies reflect the agendas of their appointer, be that the president or governor. The power of the agencies, and arguably the problem, has become increasingly evident across the coun- try and in Montana especially. Rules and regulation promulgated by an alphabet soup of agencies, from the EPA to the BLM and USFWS, are sti- fling economic growth. Simply put, the "Do as I sayers" are having their way with the "Doers" of America. When the USFWS determined, for example, that the sage grouse was warranted for a listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2010, the 11 western contiguous states were essentially forced to impose their own restrictive land use stipulations to prevent a listing of the bird. Pay no mind to the fact that only 1.3 percent of listed species have ulti- mately been delisted. Results matter little when at odds with intent -- at least as far as government bureau- cracy is concerned. No businessper- son could survive if they continued to operate any program, service or procedure that was as unsuccessful as the ESA. The act, passed by Con- gress and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Na- tional Oceanic and Atmospheric Ad- ministration, was intended to "halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost" (U.S. Supreme Court). Just more than four decades later, with a national debt now 40 times that in 1973 (when the ESA was passed) perhaps it's time to seriously rethink "whatever the cost" proposals. Sage grouse states, including Mon- tana, have lauded their own efforts to reach agreements on sage grouse stewardship plans among a myriad of interests typically at odds, but the end result is encumbered production and development at the hand of the federal government; restrictive free enterprise. And states were given essentially no choice. Activities requiring a state per- mit and located in sage grouse habitat will now have to go through a review process in Helena by the Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team (MSGOT), made up of various government agency appointees, two members of the state legislature, and the Governor's Natural Resources Policy Advisor. While MSGOT was empowered by Executive Order (EO) of the governor to act as an advising authority, the team was not granted regulatory authority Will that preclude MSGOT from being able to disapprove project proposals, such as the construction of pipelines, wind developments, transmission lines, or oil and gas wells? The team has the power to recom- mend and direct proposed develop- ment, with stipulations that coincide with the EO and the Sage Grouse Stewardship Act passed last session. Time will tell whether or not the limitations or cost of compensatory mitigation for permanent conserva- tion easements, protected in perpetu- ity will hamper future development. Montana has seen plenty of new state and federal regulations which include requirements too stringent to comply with, at lease without se- vere costs or impacts on operations. Montana, a state which houses one fourth of the nation's recover- able coal reserves, was put in the crosshairs by EP,~s Clean Power Plan (CPP). Though the CPP threat- ens all coal producing states, no other state was hit with as dramatic a reduction requirement in emis- sions; 47 percent. Colstrip power plants 1 and 2 are at risk, along with every employee at each plant, the coal miners, and the more than 1,500 Montanans working for businesses which purchase energy from the plants. It's no wonder the grassroots group, Colstrip United, is shining (coal powered) light on the severity and urgency of the situation. As fossil fuel naysayers applaud the "do as I sayers" and point to a struggling global economy and low coal prices, the fact remains that the world needs coal. In Montana, nearly half of the state's electrical generation comes from coal. It's cheap, abundant, and reliable. It is clean coal and the developing world not only wants it, they need it! More than a billion people around the world are considered energy impov- erished without a reliable source of energy Aside from the lifesaving benefits of coal, consider the costs and effects of the CPP. The Plan is projected to have a $41 billion annual price tag, though its global impact will be minuscule. According to analysis by the Cato Institute using EPA models, the CPP will only avert 0.019 Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it can't be detected. Is it worth it? The EPA and the president believe so, however, the plan is now in the hands of the Supreme Court; the last bastion of checks and balances against the evermore powerful fourth branch of government. Just last month, the Supreme Court struck down a BLM rule to further regulate hydraulic fractur- ing, stating that the Department of the Interior lacked the authority to issue regulation. With regard to an EPA proposed expansion to the Clean Water Act, the Supreme Court ruled in May that wetlands "jurisdictional determinations" can be immediately challenged in court. This came as the result of a large outcry from private property owners and agriculture groups. Let these be examples of why the appointment of Supreme Court Jus- tices matters so greatly In January, the Lone Star state and oil capital of the U.S. called for a con- vention of the states for the purpose of amending the constitution. While Texas Governor, Greg Abbot is cer- tainly not the first to make such a re- quest of the states, the amendments proposed by Abbot respond directly to the government overreach effec- tively undermining opportunities for working class America. Specifically, the proposal called for amendments to prohibit administra- tive agencies -- and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them -- from creating federal law; and to pro- hibit administrative agencies from preempting state lave In matters concerning resource development and land use especially, these amend- ments would reassert state rights defined in the tenth amendment, and empower the working class against many of the current rules and regu- lations which threaten blue collared livelihoods in particular. But these ideas, these safeguards of liberty and prosperity are not dependent upon a constitutional convention. These are principles and limits of power that should be com- monplace in this country, The most effective government, after all, is the government that governs closest to the people; of the people, by the people, and for the people. How have we gotten so far off track? Will the next president and the next governor of Montana be able to rein in government over- reach of bureaucratic agencies? Or will they be emboldened to continue their war on the builders, farmers, coal miners, and roughnecks...the "doers" of America? If we are to make America great again, it's going to take remember- ing and restoring what made us great to begin with; the spirit of ingenuity, innovation, and invention, not restrictive regulation. tO US The Sidney Herald welcomes lettersto letter. the editor. Whether political, a prob- The HeJald will not publish letters criti- BY TOM BECK [em in the city or neighborhood, or to cal of individuals or businesses unless ~:0~eR SIAIE SENATOR not publish anonymous lelters. Letters should be 300 words or less; all are sub ect to editing for spelling, clarity or ength. Be sure of your facts. It is impossible for the newspaper to verify information in every letter. print or electronic forms. pat someone on the back, let us know such letters deal with issues involving what s on your m!nd. All letters must taxpayers funds. ~ n Montana, we pride ourselves on include the writer s signature, address Letters submitted to the Sidney Herald~ treating strangers as friends and and daytime telephone number. We do may be published or distributed in solving problems as neighbors. Like most Montanans, I was raised We reserve the right to select which letters are published. One letter per month unless in response to another Write to: Letters to the Editor Sidney Herald 310 2nd Ave. N.E. Sidney, MT 59270 E-marl: editor@sidneyherald.com Fax: 406-433-7802 SERVING THE MONDAK REGION SINCE 1908 Karen Brown, Publisher Bill Vander Weele, Editor that when a disagreement arises you work together to find reasonable common ground. The CSKT Water Compact and the federal settlement legislation that would ratify the agreement are, in many ways, prime examples of Mon- tanans doing what we do best--treat- ing each other fairly and working together to get things done. As a result of laws passed by the Montana State Legislature the CSKT were required to seek definition of their federally reserved water rights, either through litigation or through the compact process. Rather than move forward with costly litigation that would span decades and create unnecessary turmoil between neigh- bors, the CSKT sacrificed many of their claims to water both on and off the Flathead Reservation in order to putin place an agreement that would ensure the needs of water users across our state are met. The agreement, which was negoti- ated between the CSKT, the State of Montana, and the federal govern- ment, involved stakeholders from across Montana and took decades to negotiate. The compact, which now awaits ratification by Congress as part of the settlement legislation introduced by Sen. Tester, not only defines and protects the water rights of the tribes, but also of existing water right holders. Without the compact, many of Montana's water users -- farmers, ranchers, irrigators, and even municipalities -- would have been subject to the adjudication pro- cess. In addition to the water right certainty the compact provides, its ratification would mean significant investment in our state's economy The legislation introduced by Sen. Tester seeks to both settle the claims of the CSKT against the federal government and ratify the Water Compact. Settlement of these claims would require the government to compensate the tribes for the dam- ages that the federal government's negligence has caused to tribal lands, waters, and communities. Approval of this legislation would mean federal funding for the projects and improvements outlined within the compact, including efficiency improvements for water delivery systems, modernization of water measurement equipment, and much more. Above and beyond the provisions of the compact, this legislation would approve funding for hundreds of projects that would revolutionize our water delivery systems. The set- tlement legislation will rehabilitate neglected wetlands and invest in our agricultural resources by construct- ing improvements to irrigation sys- tems, improving livestock fencing, working to control the spread of nox- ious weeds, and installing screens or other barriers to keep our canals clean and our water flowing -- and it will create thousands of jobs in the process. As this landmark legislation pro- gresses I hope all members of our Congressional delegation are able to support the legislation, the jobs it will create, and the certainty it would bring to our state.