Mark Hanson

Montana-Dakota Utilities Buys Wind Power Facility

Nov 24, 2014
jabzoog/Flickr

Montana-Dakota Utilities is buying another wind generation facility to meet the growing demand of its customers for electricity.

MDU is paying about $200 million for the Thunder Spirit Wind project is located on the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Originally MDU had a contract to purchase electricity generated from the wind farm.

MDU spokesman Mark Hanson says the company later decided to purchase the project.

Going Forward

Nov 7, 2014

Montanans love rivers.  We float them, fish them; we hike and drive next to them.  We just watch them go by.  And sometimes we toss stones into them.

Our Attitude Toward Government

Oct 10, 2014

The upcoming election brings into clear view two of the strongest and most contradictory features of our American tradition.  First is the democratic character of our politics—the fact that we, in principle if not wholly in fact, govern ourselves through the consent of the people.  In doing so, we express faith that democracy brings justice.  The second feature is the strength of self-interest, the insistent tendency within people to seek through political power not what is good for all but best for themselves.

Capital Punishment And Our Character

Sep 12, 2014

About a week ago, Henry McCollum walked out of a prison where he had been on death row for 30 years. DNA evidence showed him to be innocent of the crime for which he had been convicted. Also recently, botched executions in Arizona, Ohio, and Oklahoma made headlines as prisoners experienced torturous deaths.

Wilderness And Who We Are

Aug 13, 2014

Late July in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness area:  a sweeping cloak of flowers still silently blooms on a high alpine meadow.  Some are rare; all are beautiful.  There are few places like it, even in Montana.

Genes And Politics

Jul 16, 2014

Why do people vote the way they do?  If we are supposedly rational, self-interested beings, why, for example, do so many people dependent on government programs vote for Republican politicians so bent on eliminating their benefits?

On the Ownership of Public Lands

Jun 25, 2014

Few topics in the West stir up controversy more quickly than public lands—those places all Americans own together.  The latest headline involves some Utah county commissioner planning an ATV rally on public lands of archeological importance.  While some people see public lands management as federal land grabs and liberty restrictions, others value public ownership as protection for places from private exploitation.  But what does it really mean to own these lands?

American Oligarchy

Apr 25, 2014

When asked to name one idea that would change the world, venture capitalist Tom Perkins responded that wealthy Americans who pay more taxes should get more votes.  Pay a million dollars in taxes, get a million votes.  His audience laughed.  But Tom Perkins, a very wealthy man, wasn’t joking.  The sad fact is that, in a certain respect, his wish has already come true.

Beware of Common Sense

Feb 27, 2014

Beware of Common Sense

The War on Poverty

Jan 30, 2014

Fifty years ago President Lyndon Johnson, in his State of the Union address, declared an “unconditional war on poverty.”  Last night, President Obama took the same stage once again to highlight the tragedy of poverty perpetuated by obscene and corrosive inequalities.  Given the half century between these speeches, it would be easy to conclude, as President Reagan did already in 1988, that the war on poverty is over and, as he put it, “poverty won.”  But that’s the problem with persistent and complex challenges:  we’re too easily tempted to buy into the stories that let us off the hook.

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