The Montana Energy Summit wrapped up in Billings on Thursday afternoon, and on Friday, Montana Senator Steve Daines stated that despite Montana's rich energy resources, the biggest enemy is inside the Beltway in Washington, D.C.

"We really are an 'all of the above' energy state, with coal, natural gas, hydro, and even renewables, however, our biggest threat is literally coming from the Beltway in Washington, D.C with what I'm calling Obama's EPA power grab," Daines said. "What will likely happen is we will see the closure of the Colstrip power plants, which will mean $145 million in tax revenues we'll lose every year that go to schools and teachers. It's 7,000 lost jobs."

Daines said there were representatives of several unions at the summit who were standing with him in opposition to the President's 'Clean Power Plan'.

"The bottom line is that the people who can afford it the least are going to get hurt the most by this," he said.

Daines said one speaker at the summit looked forward to the year 2050, and the view was startling.

"We had a speaker from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that shared the outlook for the next 35 years, and here's the bottom line," Daines said. "There are going to be two billion more people added to this planet, and energy demand is going to be up 85 percent, and so, going forward, coal consumption will be higher than it is today, oil consumption as well. The presenter said the table has been set for 2050, it's just that the chairs are a lot bigger. We'll need all the sources of energy we have now, and even more."

Daines said the Obama plan seems to be to keep Montana's natural resources in the ground.

"If the President had his way, I think he's keep every ounce of coal and every drop of oil as well as natural gas in the ground, versus continuing to engage in this global economy, which would be good for the economy, and Montana's economy, as well as good for the environment."



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