Rehberg says mine should be open
U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg spent about an hour and a half Saturday answering questions during a town hall meeting at the college.
| May 3, 2011 1:41 PM
Projects like the Montanore Mine
shouldn’t be stuck in limbo, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg told a group
of about 120 at a town hall meeting on Saturday.
The Republican visited Flathead Valley
Community College’s Lincoln County Campus.
Rehberg said approval for Montanore
should not have taken as long as it has. Those kind of projects
should have a streamlined permitting process, he noted.
“There has to be some kind of finite
time line when we recognize that opponents have had their day in
court,” he said.
A draft Environmental Impact Statement
was created for the mine in 2009, but the owner of the mine, Mines
Management has been waiting since for final approval on the
Rehberg said the same needs to be done
for the Endangered Species Act. He said that’s why he drafted
legislation to amend the act to allow for the delisting of gray
wolves in Montana and Idaho. The bill passed in the U.S. House, but
died in the Senate.
“We don’t want to kill endangered
species like the grizzly, but we want there to be some common
sense,” he said. “It makes sense to Montanans to have a rational,
reasonable Endangered Species Act.”
Looking for ways to stop government
from impeding business remains important, Rehberg noted.
“Let’s get some jobs going,” he said.
“Small government is better.”
Rehberg also touched on a number of
• On northern border security, he said
there are concerns about drug trafficking and other illegal
activity just as there is on the southern border.
“There is a tendency to believe that
all the issues are in the south and Mexico, but that’s not true,”
• Rehberg said cutting spending is
“During this fiscal crisis as you are
all struggling, the federal government ought to be tightening its
He said he would like to leave money
with those who can create jobs, such as small business owners.
“You don’t raise taxes in the middle of
a recession,” he said.
• An audience member asked Rehberg why
he voted against funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund,
which is a federal program that provides money to purchase land and
water for recreation and protection.
Taking a one year reduction in spending
doesn’t hurt for a program that purchases land, Rehberg said.
“We’re taking the money and putting it
somewhere else for one year,” he said. “If we don’t do something
with our overspending we’ll have a problem.”