Opinion

Commentary from a variety of Montana citizens expressing a range of viewpoints.

Views expressed by the commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of this station.

As the second session of the 113th Congress develops, it is my great hope that Congress can leave its abysmal bill passage record in the past. In 2013, Congress signed just 58 bills into law, the lowest since bill tracking was initiated in the 1940’s. Much of the stalemate characterizing the last two congressional sessions has been blamed on bipartisan gridlock. It begs the question, why aren’t the widely supported bipartisan bills that are waiting in committee becoming law? Bills that are well rounded, effective, and supported by stakeholders are repeatedly dying in committee.

The Flight from Coal in U.S. Electricity Production

 

          In the late 1990s as the Montana Power Company exited the electric utility industry and headed for bankruptcy as a telecommunication company, Montana Power sold off all of its Montana electric generating facilities to Pennsylvania Power and Light. The utility that bought Montana Power’s electric and natural gas delivery system of pipes and wires, NorthWestern Energy, is now trying to buy back those Montana hydroelectric facilities.

Natural Hazards

Mar 21, 2014

Floods and avalanches are on Montanans’ minds right now.  That means it is also an appropriate time to take a step back and think about natural hazards more generally.  We are accustomed to thinking of these disasters as acts of God or bad luck, or otherwise entirely outside of our control.  However, if we look carefully at disasters worldwide, we see an important result: natural disasters are more often—though not always—human disasters, because the largest influences on the outcome are social and ethical considerations.  Let me give you an example: the Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Fr

The Future of Aging

Mar 20, 2014

Good evening.  I’m Susan Kohler, CEO of Missoula Aging Services; the Area Agency on Aging for Missoula and Ravalli County.  Recently I attended the American Society on Aging’s (ASA) national conference, the largest one related to aging in the country. For 60 years ASA has studied the issues and opportunities surrounding our nation as we age. Tonight I will share some of the exciting conference highlights.  

Rewarding the Profession: Melding the Art with the Science

Healthy Montana Initiative

Mar 18, 2014

All over Montana this week, people were peering outside and breathing a sigh of relief.  The sun is out, the temperature is above freezing, the snow is melting.  Early signs of spring are appearing.   Many of us are beginning to think ahead to spring and summer – the hiking and camping, rafting and floating, road trips and barbeques.  But for some Montanans, while the weather is improving, they are still living day-to-day without access to healthcare.

A True Montana Melodrama

Mar 17, 2014

A True Montana Melodrama

A Montana Public Radio Commentary by Evan Barrett

March 13, 2014

Much has been said about the appointment of John Walsh to the US Senate including comparisons to Montana’s earlier Senate appointments.

It’s interesting to look at the actual historical facts of the earlier situations.

Civil Justice System - Protecting All Citizens, Even Hypocrites

Buying Back the Dams: An Important Billion Dollar Decision for Montana

 

          When NorthWestern Energy announced last year that it had entered into an agreement to buy back the hydroelectric facilities that the Montana Power Company once owned, most Montana’s probably smiled a little , thinking that a serious public policy mistake of the 1990s was about to be corrected.

Montana’s Role in Global Sports Diplomacy

Mar 5, 2014

Montana’s Role in Global Sports Diplomacy

 

Deena Mansour

Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center

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