Montana

Montana Attorney General Candidate Proposes “Environmental Crimes Unit”

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The race for Montana Attorney General recently heated up when Democratic candidate Pam Bucy proposed what some are calling “draconian” measures for curbing environmental offenses. Bucy disturbed conservative political observers and business advocates alike by recently detailing her campaign’s promise to create an “Environmental Crimes Unit” at the Montana Department of Justice.

Research from the National Federation of Independent Business shows what some have called a “tidal wave” of regulation set to hit U.S. small businesses in the coming years. The NFIB estimates that over 4,000 new federal regulations are set to take effect in the United States over the next several years, potentially costing business owners hundreds of billions in revenue.

In 2010, Montana held over one-quarter of recoverable coal in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Montana is also estimated to be capable of producing 3.7 billion barrels of oil, with the possibility that the U.S. Geological Survey may raise that estimate as energy development continues. As Media Trackers reported on June 18, 2012, the development of natural resources has set Montana apart from other states in recent years, a dynamic that has helped buoy the state against the high unemployment numbers seen around the country.

The Montana Republican Party wasted little time in attacking Bucy’s plan. In a recent email entitled “Bucy’s Bureaucracy”, the Montana GOP slammed Bucy for wanting to create “a new layer of bureaucracy to trample even further on home grown energy production.” The email further lambasted Bucy’s idea as “Bucy/Obama environmental extremism [that] is out of step with Montana values.”

Bucy faces Republican challenger Tim Fox this November. Fox was defeated in his first bid for Attorney General by Steve Bullock, the current Attorney General who is vacating his current position to run for governor this election cycle.

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