Future energy production, economic recovery and national security. They're all connected, according to a military leader, speaking at the Capitol Wednesday. Retired navy vice admiral Dennis McGinn was invited by State Senator Ryan Zinke, of Whitefish, and Representative Mike Phillips, of Bozeman, to explain how those topics are related. McGinn says turmoil in the Middle East right now, along with a spike in oil prices, demonstrate just how dependence on oil is connected to the economy and security, and reducing that dependence is something he points to as key to improving combat readiness.

McGinn says Montana could be a leader in transforming energy production away from oil dependence.