Billings has long been the center of regional commerce. From air to medical, shopping, financial and tourism services, Billings serves nearly a 500 mile radius and a population of over 400,000. Our three area oil refineries and the rich coal and oil deposits in our region position us in the heart of a regional economy focused on energy development, servicing and transportation that extends the 325 miles to the heart of the Bakken Oil Play in Williston.
Here, find a wealth of information on the energy industry and its relationship to our community. Want to learn more or get involved? E-mail email@example.com or call 406-245-4111.
Information from Cloud Peak Energy for Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Council:
- Cloud Peak Energy supports the recommendations package in its current form – the development of this draft occurred during numerous meetings and discussions over a six-month period and it is critical that it remain intact.
- A critical component of the recommendations package is the delineation and considerations of Special Managed Core Areas and special consideration of peripheral General Habitat Areas in existing industrial areas.
- These areas and considerations represent the principal balancing point in the recommendations to address both habitat conservation and continued economic development
- It is crucial that these remain as proposed in the recommendations to allow continued resource development in these areas, particularly as they relate to a continued base for thousands of jobs and revenue streams in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the State
- Wildlife officials indicate that sage-grouse populations in Montana are healthy. This means they have adapted to the current resource development. We need to make sure that the Montana economy stays healthy, too, and the draft recommendations in their current form achieve that – any changes to the approach to these special areas will upset that balance.
- The structure for these special management considerations provides for off-site mitigation that conserves the species. This approach provides habitat conservation to offset disturbance from economic development, providing a balanced approach benefitting both the species and continued economic development.
Canadian oil rides south even without Keystone pipeline
(CNBC - 11/4/2013) - The equivalent of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day will soon be moving from western Canada into the U.S.—even if the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline is never built.
The energy industry is moving full steam ahead to move crude on rail cars—a fast growing business, booming along with increased North American oil production and already responsible for moving most of the oil out of the Bakken region in North Dakota. Canada's railroads, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and larger Canadian National Railway Co both report expanded oil shipments this year and both expect demand to continue to grow. Canadian Pacific told investors it expects shipments of 85,000 to 90,000 car loads by the end of the year. A spokesman for Canadian National said the railroad expects to see 60,000 carloads this year, double last year's level. [Read more]
Energy is integral to the Billings community. Watch local officials share more here!
Comments from U.S. Chambers’ Bruce Josten on Energy (3/17/2013)
We are very quickly seeing one of the most important transformational changes in our lifetimes with significant implications for national security, economic security, our balance of trade, faster economic growth and job creation, including a manufacturing renaissance if we enact the right energy policies.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the U.S. will be the world’s largest producer of natural gas by 2015, surpassing the world leader today, Russia.
Domestic oil production is at a twenty-year high and the IEA predicts that we will surpass Saudi Arabia, the current world leader in production, by 2019.
By 2030, more than 80 percent of the oil imported in the U.S. will come from Canada and Mexico.
Of all things happening today, the biggest game-changer domestically and internationally with an emerging picture of an energy future with higher domestic production, reduced dependence on Middle East oil and broader use of natural gas.
These advances are taking place despite Obama’s energy policies, not because of them.
The U.S. is positioned to be far more competitive in manufacturing if we get our policy prescription in place and look at our natural resources as national assets.
Raising Taxes Will Only Hurt Montana’s Energy Economy By John Brewer
President Obama was hardly candid when he discussed the oil and natural gas industry during his State of the Union Address. He strove to create the impression that he was staunchly in favor of new exploration and drilling. But his real message was between the lines.
When he proposed a “market-based solution to climate change,” he was really talking about a new tax on carbon emissions. And when he proposed that “we use some of our oil and gas revenues” to fund research on alternative energy, he was really talking about taxing traditional energy companies in order to subsidize uneconomical projects in wind, solar, and electric cars. [Read more]
Energy Newsletter Archive
The Billings Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau in partnership with Big Sky Economic Development produces a monthly newsletter sharing energy related news and updates. Archives of these newsletters can be found here:
Billings Chamber/CVB’s Position on the Tongue River Railroad
This week, the Federal Surface Transportation Board will hold hearings throughout Eastern Montana regarding the Tongue River Railroad. This issue has been studied for over 30 years. We simply need to move forward and support this rail spur and the coal industry. Explore more about the Chamber/CVB’s position here.
Tools from the Western Energy Alliance
Western Energy Alliance offers five tools for fact checking candidate statements regarding oil and natural gas development, particularly on America’s federal lands.
- Western Oil & Natural Gas Dashboard contains detailed statistics confirming production on state and private lands is outpacing federal lands.
- The Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity outlines how production from six western states can displace foreign imports.
- Western Oil & Natural Gas Employs America shows how western production creates 229,150 jobs and $51 billion in annual economic impact across America.
- Economic Impacts of Oil & Natural Gas Development on Federal Lands in the West demonstrates how projects proposed on federal lands could create nearly 121,000 new jobs and $27.5 billion in annual economic impact if the federal government would move forward.
5. Top Ten Ways the Federal Government is Preventing OnshoreOil & Gas Production.
The Energy Subsidy Tally
Wind and solar get the most taxpayer help for the least production. Wind and solar get the most taxpayer help for the least production.
President Obama traveled to Iowa Tuesday and touted wind energy subsidies as the path to economic recovery. Then he attacked Mitt Romney as a tool of the oil and gas industry. “So my attitude is let’s stop giving taxpayer subsidies to oil companies that don’t need them, and let’s invest in clean energy that will put people back to work right here in Iowa,” he said. “That’s a choice in this election.”
There certainly is a subsidy choice in the election, but the facts are a lot different than Mr. Obama portrays them. What he isn’t telling voters is how many tax dollars his Administration has already steered to wind and solar power, and how much more subsidized they are than other forms of electricity generation.
The facts come in a 2011 report from Mr. Obama’s own Department of Energy. The report—”Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2010″—identifies $37.16 billion in federal subsidies. These include special tax breaks, loans and loan guarantees, research and development, home heating assistance, conservation programs, and so on. Read on...
Chamber/CVB Welcomed American Energy Alliance to Billings
The Billings Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau was pleased to welcome the American Energy Alliance’s “Products and Power” bus tour to Billings on Monday, August 13th. The event was held at the Big Horn Resort (1801 Majestic Lane) at 5:00 p.m.
This was part of a five-week bus tour through 18 states. There are stops in New Mexico, Montana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. The tour, intended to highlight the economic importance of refined petroleum products, will roughly trace the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Read more about the bus tour here.
At the Dallas launch, Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, was on hand to speak. View his comments here.
Montana’s refineries process 187,600 barrels of crude oil every day, and the state contributes nearly 2% of total U.S. crude oil production. Moreover, Montana is home to more than a quarter of the country’s estimated coal reserves, which accounts in part for the 25% cheaper electricity the state provides to its people as opposed to the national average. Finally, Montana is a key state for the Keystone XL pipeline, which President Obama has currently blocked from development. This major project would bring needed Canadian oil into US markets and create thousands of good-paying jobs.
Regarding jobs, Montana’s refinery sector pays its employees an annual wage of $91,032, and U.S. refinery workers on average earn nearly 50 percent more each year than the national average. Currently, the state’s oil and natural gas industries employ more than 40,000 residents and contribute $4 billion to the state’s coffers every year.
Benefits of Coal Trains Outweigh Negatives
By Bruce MacIntyre, from Missoulian.com
Reading the letters to the editor regarding coal train traffic has been humorous at best, and mean-spirited at worst. Coal has and will continue to be important to our national economic vitality in general and our state in particular. Train traffic has been important for our community and all the communities along any rail line, for getting goods and materials efficiently and cost effective from farm to market and from market to consumer. I have been a life-long resident of Billings and, when I was in the automobile business, it brought all of the new cars from the factory assembly lines to all of the major communities along the line, including Billings. It also brought most parts, paper products, groceries, building materials and assorted sundry goods that we expect in our everyday lives. Read On…
Montana Counts on Coal
America has the most coal of any country in the world; and almost 1/3 of it is right here in Montana – more than any other state. Montanan’s rely on coal to drive our economy through job creation and coal exportation. Tell state and national political leaders that you support coal by clicking here to sign the petition.
See the letter your Chamber/CVB sent to the Yellowstone County Commissioners here.
Read the Resolution here.
View videos from Montana Counts on Coal here.
Montana Counts on Coal! In the last 24 hours coal:
- Provided more than half the electricity for 3 billion people – 10 times the population in the U.S.!
- Enhanced energy security for dozens of nations across the globe.
- Provided more than 40% of the power for more than 300 billion e-mails, 110 billion tweets, and the activation of 300,000 Androids.
- And much more! Check out other important impacts here.
Insight into the Bakken: Positioning Billings Strategically to the Boom
By John Brewer, CAE
Sitting in the “war room” at Williston’s City Hall, I quickly understand the analogy of drinking from a fire hose. A community with 12,500, according to the last census, is now servicing 25,000 individuals and mapping strategies to serve 40,000 to 60,000 in the next 3-5 years. The walls are papered with maps from numerous impact studies, visioning exercises and consultants’ reports. The maps and reports show a desperate need for $540 million in infrastructure improvement: $150 million for a new air strip, millions to reroute truck traffic around the city, and projects to improve the quality of life, including a $40 million community recreation center. The group at City Hall tells us it could be 3-5 years before the fire hose trickles to a manageable flow. Read More
An editorial on fracking by Dave Galt (Montana Petroleum Association) ran in the Great Falls Tribune on April 16, 2012. Read it here.
Shale of the Century: Free Enterprise
This isn’t the first time that Hondo Railway has experienced an energy boom. But it might be the one with the biggest impact on the 32-year-old company.
“This is Texas. Oil booms come and go, so there’s a cautious approach to how long it will last, or if it’s here to stay,” says Miles Lee, vice president of operations at Hondo Railway.
Five years ago, the transload and short-line railway had 20 employees and 13,000 feet of track on 25 acres just outside of San Antonio, primarily moving food-grade products such as high fructose sweeteners for companies, including ADM. [Continue reading...]
Keystone XL Pipeline Must be Built: Free Enterprise
In his State of American Business address, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue declared that the Keystone XL pipeline “must be built.” It’s been almost a year since President Obama rejected construction of the pipeline that would move oil from Alberta, Canada to U.S. refineries.
This is a good time for an update. New permits were filed by TransCanada, the company behind the project, and a new route was developed in Nebraska that avoids environmentally sensitive areas that were of concern. Last week, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality issued a report stating that a new route would have “minimal environmental impacts.” Governor Dave Heineman now has 30 days to send a recommendation to the federal government. [Continue reading...]
Study: All States Benefit from New Energy Sources (Free Enterprise)
States that produce oil and gas and even those that don’t are reaping the benefits of the unconventional oil and gas revolution, according to a study sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy and conducted by the global research firm IHS-CERA.
“We’ve known for some time that shale energy is truly a game-changer for America—and now we can prove it,” says Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Institute. “This new, in-depth study demonstrates that shale energy is already contributing nearly $238 billion to U.S. GDP, with much more to come if policymakers at all levels of government don’t stand in the way.” [Continue reading...]
Click here for a variety of articles, videos and other resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce regarding the energy industry in America. Click here for the US Chamber's Tom Donohue on Energy and Infrastructure video.
Learn about America’s Energy Future from Karen Harbert’s (Institute for 21st Century Energy) presention during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce meeting by clicking here.
If you are traveling to the Bakken, check the Convention & Visitors Bureau website in Williston www.VisitWilliston.com for a list of hotels. If you are having trouble finding availability contact the CVB at 800-615-9041.
If you are traveling to Sidney, contact the Chamber at http://www.SidneyMT.com .
A nice landing page for all Bakken activity and resources can be found at www.RockinTheBakken.com.
An interactive map of the Keystone XL Pipeline can be found here.
An informative video from the American Petroleum Institute on fracking can be found here.
An editorial on Fracking from Dave Galt (Montana Petroleum Association) ran in the Great Falls Tribune on April 16, 2012. Read it here.
Connect your business to the Bakken Oil Play. http://synergystation.com/
The Chamber/CVB is an advocate of a nationwide free market in respect to energy. We recognize that the production, processing and distribution of energy create good-paying primary and secondary jobs and provide fiscal benefit to the State of Montana. We believe that in a free market, the needs of adequate power and fair power pricing will be established. We believe that increasing the supply of energy in Montana, including oil, coal, methane, wind, fuel cells, gas, solar and alternative methods will help find a solution to the current and future power needs facing our state and country. Energy production, processing and distribution methods, traditional and alternative, may prove to be economical and efficient ways to accomplish this goal. The Chamber/CVB also encourages conservation efforts allowing our current supply of energy to be sustained. Streamlining the permitting process and limiting the appeals process for both production and transportation systems related to energy development is critical.
To view our entire Energy philosophy, click here.
Watch some of our area leaders explain why coal is so important to Billings. Click here.