Montana used to be known as the Treasure State. But in recent years, there has been a noticeable shift. Out-of-state environmental groups have been pushing to get rid of mining in our state and advance their extremist agenda. From filing frivolous lawsuits to putting in place onerous regulations, these well-funded environmental activist groups will use any tactic they can to prevent Montanans from developing our natural resources.
And theyíre at it again.
I-186, their latest ploy to mislead Montanans, is an ambiguous ballot initiative that will stop future mining projects in Montana by upending our existing, strict permitting process that successfully balances mining with protecting our environment.
Whatís worse is that the proponents behind I-186 have teamed up with EarthWorks, a D.C.-based environmental extremist group, to force this ill-conceived initiative on Montanans.
If passed, I-186 will have serious repercussions for the future of Montanaís mining industry as well as our economy. Mining in Montana generates $199.4 million in annual revenue for state and local governments. These funds support teachers, local infrastructure and provide critical public safety resources.
Mines like Hecla have been waiting for decades to receive a permit, and I-186 will do nothing more than add yet another hurdle for pending mining projects in our state.
We donít need I-186, and we certainly donít need these out-of-state groups meddling with Montanaís economy.
Vote No on I-186 to protect Montanaís mining jobs and keep the swamp-dwelling environmental extremists of D.C. out of our state.
John Brenden is a former state senator who lives in Scobey.