Common sense has got to be brought back into the picture when dealing with balancing between progress and environment. The fact is no matter what we do we can not survive without extracting resources or building new means of producing energy. Nor can we keep up with our needs and keep cost down without doing so. We need to build a new refinery in Montana to assist in our transportation needs. This would give us more good paying jobs, boost our economy and lower fuel prices for us within our state. The insane part is not the thought or actions of building such a facility. The insane part is that it would take roughly 13 years to gain approval for, building it and getting the facility in operation. This is caused by the excessive ignorance in the process of studies and so called public hearings. There is no cause for a proof of need. That is a given. To think that through the process of studies to prove that even one blade of grass, a rock or a mouse will not be displaced is ignorance at it's best. Or to think that we can build one with no kind of pollutants is lame also. The best we can do is streamline the process and require that were a new refinery to be built that the plans were developed with the newest, best and cleanest technology possible at the time prior to actually setting things in motion.
Here is one area where the needs of transportation energy production and electric energy production can work hand in hand. In moving to a more green, renewable energy production drive we can lower our impact on the environment to equal or exceed the strain a new refinery would place on our environment. Thus causing a net lowering of impact on our environment. Also with the constant development of vehicles with better MPG, cleaner burning engines and alternative fuel vehicles our pocket books and environment will gain an extra benefit. If we will also alter our path for bio-fuels away from corn and towards hemp oil bio-fuel we can use a heavier percentage of ethanol than we now do, maintain the power output we desire (hemp oil burns almost as strong as straight gas) and have cleaner burning fuel than corn ethanol. Hemp unlike corn heals the ground and purifies air better, does not require fertilizers and other chemicals that corn does and takes less water and other things which damage the environment and causes water contamination in order to produce. There is also the aspect of more production per acre using hemp over corn.
A move to put in a new refinery and insist that refineries within Montana be upgraded for better efficiency and cleaner operations as technology advances along with the changing over to hemp oil has many benefits. 1) a Montana which is independent on transportation fuel needs 2) more and better paying jobs 3) a cleaner environment (air, water, and ground) and 4) lower cost to the consumer leaving more money in everyones pocket.