WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today announced a week-long energy tour around Montana to explore and promote the state’s job-creating energy industry. Rehberg, who earlier this month cosponsored H.R. 909, “A Roadmap for America’s Energy Future,” has a strong track record as a vocal advocate for a balanced domestic energy portfolio that utilizes traditional energy as well as alternative and renewable energy sources.

“Even as we’re paying far too much at the pump, Montana can lead the way in developing alternative and renewable energy as well as traditional energy like coal and oil,” said Rehberg, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. “From wind to coal, we’ve got the resources. We’ve got people with the know-how and the desire to tap them. Now, we need to get the government off our backs so our state can help our country secure a more stable energy future.”

Rehberg’s “All-Of-The-Above Energy Tour” includes stops as diverse as Montana’s energy portfolio.

Coal: Montana has been called the “Saudi Arabia” of coal. It’s abundant and relatively easy to get to – when the government permits it. Rehberg is meeting with Montanans, including representatives from the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, to discuss the “Montana Mineral Conveyance Act”, which he introduced this week in the House.

Oil: New technology in horizontal drilling has opened doors for economic development and jobs in Northeast Montana and the Bakken Formation. Rehberg is meeting with local government officials and representatives from the Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce, Mon-Dak Alliance and Richland Economic Development, including several companies working in the oil patch that have extensive experience in the region. They’ll talk about the economic impacts of the Bakken.

Wind: There are places in Montana where if you see someone with a red face, you assume windburn instead of sunburn. That’s just the sort of energy we can learn to harness and deliver to heat our homes and light or streets. Rehberg will tour Invenergy’s Judith Gap wind farm and discuss infrastructure needs to make wind a reliable source of domestic energy.

Biomass: Overgrown forests will produce energy one way or another. Whether it’s in the form of destructive, dirty and expensive wild fires or productive, clean, job-creating biomass energy facilities is a question of public policy. Rehberg will be meeting with representatives from the Southeastern Montana Development Corporation, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and Tongue River Electric Cooperative to discuss ecoTECH’s biomass cogeneration project.

Biofuels: Creating renewable energy from crops is an exciting field that Montana researchers are leading the way in. Rehberg will talk with representatives from the Bio-Energy Center at MSU-Northern, among others. It’s time we turned away from the oil fields of the Mideast, and turned instead to the farm fields of Montana for our energy future.

Natural Gas: Natural gas is a clean, abundant energy source and responsible development of natural gas is a critical part of a balanced energy plan that will create jobs and help make America less dependent on foreign oil. In Montana, the natural gas industry is responsible for hundreds of good-paying jobs. Rehberg will tour the Culbertson Generation Station operated by Basin Electric.

Fuel: Of course, the rising price of gas is the most visible and concerning aspect of our current energy policy’s failure. In 2008, the high price of gas tipped our economy into recession, and today, it stand in the way of economic recovery. Denny will talk about gas prices with Montanans throughout the state and during the entirety of his tour – how high gas prices impact them and what can be done to address them.

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