Schweitzer has a message for Eastern Montana school districts that don’t spend all of the money they receive from oil and gas tax revenue- he plans to spend it for them. Instead of recognizing and appreciating their frugality, he plans instead to punish the schools by forcing them to share their oil and gas revenues with the liberal side of the state.
Eastern Montana school districts rely heavily on the oil and gas tax revenues. The few counties that would be impacted by this change are sparsely populated and remote. The climate is very extreme. Other than hunting season, tourism is almost non-existent. When is the last time you heard of someone vacationing in Baker? The K-12 school there budgeted only $300,000 of the $5.9 million they received in oil and gas revenue, according to Schweitzer.
Montanans in the areas producing most of the oil and gas in the state feel that this proposal is fair only if oil and gas development is open to the entire state.
But Willie Duffield, lobbyist for the Oil, Gas and Coal Counties, called Schweitzer’s plan “a bad idea.”
“The state’s already getting over 50 percent of the oil and gas revenue and distributes it around the state,” Duffield said. “So there’s no need for any more.”
If the state wants to distribute this additional oil and gas money to schools around the state, Duffield said, it needs to authorize drilling for oil and gas in more places.
“There’s oil and gas all under the state,” Duffield said.
We are all aware that the bulk of Montana’s natural resources are produced in these areas and that the schools there benefit from them. To those who want to benefit from Fallon County‘s oil and gas revenue, I suggest they relocate to Fallon County. Liberals just don’t get it. Here’s a news flash…. New concept: Cut SPENDING and eliminate wasteful programs instead of finding new ways to steal the required funding.