HB 513 is poised for its third reading (final vote) Weds. morning sometime after 8 am on the House floor. During the second reading, many Democrats voted for it as it is sponsored by a Democrat, and it was presented as a jobs bill enhancing tar sands oil equipment manufacture. These are good people who make thoughtful decisions and will appreciate information.
Please urge Tom Woods and the following Democrats to vote No on 513. Even though it may pass, there needs to be solid Democratic opposition to encourage Gov. Bullock to veto it and show him they can sustain the veto.
List of Democrats to contact: Tom Woods, Amanda Curtis, Carlie Boland, Ryan Lynch, Casey Schreiner, Carolyn Pease-Lopez, Bridget Smith, and Jean Price.
Check the following link to see if it has come up yet this morning. The bill with the asterix is the one they are debating. The third readings will be at the end. http://leg2.mt.gov/advagenda/advagenda.asp?Chamber=H&Agenda_DT=2/27/2013&AgendaNo=1&LegID=0&BillDftNo=LC0587&oob=3R
Call the Legislative Information Desk number is (406)[masked] starting at 7:30 am and leave messages for 5 legislators at a time.
Submit a comment on the online message form http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/63rd/legwebmessage.asp It has automatic fill for name and address, so after a few, it goes pretty quickly. You can copy and paste the message. Don’t forget to click “send message”.
Talking Points: PLEASE vote NO on HB 513!
HB 513 allows 2 story megaloads on Montanan scenic byways without even a minimal checklist Environmental Analysis of their major impacts on public safety, environmental quality, and cultural resources. Tars sands oil emits about 4 times as much CO2 as conventional oil.
Gov. Bullock needs to see that this is an issue Democrats will stand behind him on, that is worth vetoing, and that won’t be overturned.
Clearly there will be a huge impact, as turnouts are built or upgraded in areas a federal judge recently deemed protected by the Wild and Scenic Waterways act. Former MDT director, Jim Lynch, said it would create a permanent “high and wide corridor” through western Montana.3
Just imagine one of these loads 2 stories high and the size of ¾ of a football field going off Rt 12 into a ravine, or causing an accident of any kind. Its first test run clipped a power line resulting in a power outage.
If 513 passes, David Ohler, staff attorney for the Montana Department of Transportation, told The Missoulian: “I could say probably with 100 percent certainty there will be other companies that want to use that route," because it’s direct and avoids overpasses.2 Impacts are sure to increase with additional megaload traffic once even minimal review is abandoned.
This is not a jobs bill, this is a bill promoting tar sands oil, and its even more toxic sister, Petroleum Coke. Aiding and abetting tar sands oil development is abetting climate change.
Life cycle emissions from tar sands are 3.2 to 4.5 times greater than conventional oil.1 PETCOKE (petroleum-coke) is a by-product of tar sands processing. 60% of Petcoke was exported in 2011, and can be burned in coal fired plants, emitting 5 -10% more CO 2 than coal.1
From the MCV Hotlist:
HB 513, Exempt oversize load permits from the Montana Environmental Policy Act, Rep. McChesney (D-Miles City), House Floor, Third Reading, Oppose. Exempts oversize loads from MEPA. This would completely remove any environmental review for oversize loads. Currently, over 95 percent of oversized loads are categorically excluded from MEPA and only are required to complete a simple checklist environmental analysis (EA). This bill would eliminate the basic checklist EA that determines if oversize/overweight loads would potentially have major impacts on public safety, environmental quality, and cultural resources. Contact Kyla Maki, Montana Environmental Information Center,[masked], [masked].
1. http://priceofoil.org/2013/01/17/petroleum-coke-the-coal-hiding-in-the-tar-sands/ 2. http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/delayed-gratification/blogpost_view#[masked] 3. http://meic.org/issues/mega-loads-and-tar-sands/