Montana: Max Has Money, Enviros Are a Pain
Montana Republicans are gearing up to make the state’s enviro laws much more friendly to industry groups, arguing that the laws have hurt the state’s economy and cost jobs in the mining, logging, and energy industries. The effort is likely to succeed because Republicans have the majority in both legislative chambers and the state’s new governor, Republican Gov. Judy Matz, is helping to lead the charge. Enviros say that tourism and recreation — both dependent on strong environmental protections — are fueling economic growth in the state. Elsewhere in the West, Oregon’s strong land-use laws are under assault. Voters there last fall passed the country’s most sweeping measure requiring the government to compensate private property owners for limits on the use of their land.