Eric Whitney

News Director

Eric is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

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Montana News
3:37 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Has The Bakken Boom In Montana Busted?

Credit Amy R. Sisk

The Bakken oil boom in Montana has already busted. That’s according to Terry Johnson, director of energy research at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic research.

"I would argue that the Bakken boom in Montana actually occurred back in 2005 and 2006. That the boom is really no longer that present in Montana at this point in time."

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Affordable Care Act
5:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Montana Sees Drop In Uninsured, Slowdown In Healthcare Spending

There are about three percent fewer Montanans without health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. That’s according to University of Montana Economist Bryce Ward. He says the ACA is responsible for even bigger drops in the number of uninsured in other states.

"If the ACA stays around, we expect to continue to see the share of people without health insurance declining over the next few years."

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Montana Economy
5:09 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Gallatin County Leads The State In Wage Growth

A new report says the hot spot for wage growth in Montana is Gallatin county.

According to Patrick Barkey, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, "40% of all state growth was in Gallatin County last year, pretty amazing what’s going on there."

Barkey says the Bozeman area is economically diverse.

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Yellowstone River Oil Spill
4:52 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

EPA: Glendive Water Now Safe To Drink

Glendive residents can resume drinking from their taps after a federal official said there are no further signs of contamination from last Saturday’s crude oil spill into the Yellowstone River six miles upstream. The Environmental Protection Agency says test results no longer show elevated levels of cancer-causing benzene in the municipal water supply.

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Water Plant Modified
10:48 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Glendive Tap Water Expected To Be Declared Safe Today

Decontamination of Glendive’s water treatment system following Saturday’s oil spill into the Yellowstone River appears to be working. That’s according to the U-S Environmental Protection Agency’s Paul Peronard, who’s overseeing clean-up.

Glendive’s tap water was declared unsafe to drink Sunday after toxic benzene from the oil spill was found in it. Peronard says adjustments to the plant’s intake pipe in the river, and additional filtration mean the water could be declared safe as early as mid-day today.

Now, he’s asking for help from Glendive residents.

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Yellowstone River Pipeline Spill
6:14 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Glendive Water System Still Offline, Mitigation Efforts Continue

Map of the Poplar Pipeline.
Credit Bridger Pipeline LLC

It doesn’t look like Glendive’s tap water will be declared safe to drink today.

Glendive residents were told not to drink or cook with town water on Sunday, following Saturday’s oil spill into the Yellowstone River six miles upstream.

Glendive draws its drinking water from the Yellowstone, and benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer, was detected in tap water on Sunday.

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Yellowstone River Pipeline Spill
4:27 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

EPA: Glendive Drinking Water Could Be Restored Today

Update 5:45 p.m., 01/21/15: The EPA now says it's unlikely that Glendive's drinking water system will be back online tonight.

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Yellowstone River Pipeline Spill
4:13 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

EPA Rep In Glendive Explains Pipeline Spill Cleanup Efforts

Credit Courtesy EPA

MTPR News Director Eric Whitney spoke with Paul Peronard with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about the oil pipeline spill and cleanup on the Yellowstone River near Glendive, MT. Listen to the full interview below.

 

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Spill, Cleanup "Our Responsibility"
2:15 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Interview With Bridger Pipeline On Their Oil Spill Into Yellowstone River

Bridger Pipeline LLC is based in Casper, Wyoming.

A 12-inch diameter steel pipe carrying Baaken crude oil broke where it crosses the Yellowstone River six miles upstream from Glendive, Montana Saturday.

An estimated 40,000 gallons of oil entered the river, and caused the shutdown of Glendive's drinking water plant. 

    

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Yellowstone River Oil Spill
6:07 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Glendive Mayor Talks Pipeline Spill Response

Jerry Jimison, Mayor of Glendive, MT, talks about the recent oil pipeline spill in the Yellowstone River near Glendive.
Credit Courtesy photo

MTPR's Eric Whitney spoke with the mayor of Glendive, Jerry Jimison, about the crude oil pipeline spill into the Yellowstone River about 5 miles upriver from town. The spill contaminated Glendive’s water system with benzene, and residents are being told not to drink or cook with tap water. Mayor Jimison talks about what’s happening in Glendive.

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