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Letters to the Editor: A boost for Montana

| March 31, 2022 12:15 AM

A boost for Montana

In response to Republican talking points about the partisanship and lack of accomplishments of the Biden administration, I wrote earlier about the progress made in the areas of jobs and children … but that is only part of the picture. Another accomplishment has been the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Under many administrations, Republican and Democrat, Congress has been unable to pass a much-needed infrastructure bill, leaving us with lead in our water systems, unsafe bridges and an internet system that is far behind that of many other countries. In fact, our infrastructure system earned a C- score from the American Society of Civil Engineers earlier this year.

At long last, thanks to a growing sense of compromise and a president who worked very hard on this issue, we are on the road to recovery. What does this mean for Montana?

To Montanans, this means about $2.82 billion for roads and bridges; $144 million at community airports; $15 million to study expansion of Amtrak rails; money to fund safer drinking water in rural areas, including up to $100 million for the Milk River project; $2.5 billion for carbon capture demonstration projects; $937 million for a large-scale carbon capture pilot project; $2.7 billion for loans to create a carbon transportation infrastructure; $2.5 billion to complete all authorized Indian water rights settlements; $31 million for Montana community colleges; $34 million for tribal colleges.

Aside from getting needed work done, this is money that is flowing into our economy. It means jobs and prosperity for Montanans. It means an investment in our future.

— Gail Trenfield, St. Ignatius

A desperate liar

Lyin’ Ryan Zinke is at it again. He’s trying to erase his debacle as Interior secretary, during which he erased national monuments, reduced hunter access to public lands and handed the keys to our best hunting and fishing to the oil industry.

Zinke blames President Biden for gas prices, but that’s happening around the globe. In truth, oil is a global commodity, and Big Oil cut production to drive up prices — and of course their profits. In fact, the Biden administration has approved more new wells in its first year than Trump did, something Lyin’ Ryan conveniently forgets. Biden also actually is taking a look at where we should drill, not just throwing out permits willy nilly everywhere, with no oversight, as Zinke did.

Why would Zinke lie? It likely has to do with the fact that he immediately became a high-paid lobbyist for Big Oil as soon as he was fired by Trump. What a disgrace.

Zinke failed in running our public lands and will fail in Congress.

— Suz Rittenhouse, Polson

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