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The Montana Standard
April 23, 2012

MSTI Coalition The Right Move

Whether or not the 450-mile, 500kv Mountain States Transmission Intertie — MSTI — line is built, one fresh idea that has come out of the process is the creation of a citizens-based study group to help the average person’s voice be heard.


State and federal agencies have the reputation for not listening to the “folks on the ground” who are directly affected by such projects as MSTI. A clear example of that was when Jefferson County commissioners sued the Department of Environmental Quality council over the perceived lack of consultation with the county about the environmental study for the MSTI line. (The state Supreme Court later ruled DEQ had done its work adequately and allowed the EIS to move forward.)


However, that gave rise to the MSTI Review Project, which comprises three county commissioners — one each from Jefferson, Beaverhead and Madison counties – and members of five nonprofits: the Western Environmental Law Center; Headwaters Economics; Sonoran Institute; Craighead Institute; and Future West.


Basically, you have a mix of long-time, conservative ranching families rubbing elbows with pro-environmental and economic think tank groups. Odd bedfellows, but the end result is better information and better planning coming from a variety of perspectives. And their efforts are endorsed by NorthWestern Energy, the proponents of MSTI, which helped fund the project with $220,000.

 

Read the entire Montana Standard piece here: http://mtstandard.com/news/opinion/editorial/msti-coalition-the-right-move/article_e52c599c-8d50-11e1-8bfb-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz1suSWngJW

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