Elizabeth Doney Havre Daily News email@example.com
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., continues to work on many key issues that affect Montana including improving northern border security, furthering Montana’s energy future and bringing about national recognition for the Little Shell Chippewa tribe. Tester has Homeland Security on his priority list as he voices support of the Improving America’s Security Act of 2007, which is being considered by the Senate. Much of the focus has been on the southern Mexican border and not nearly enough focus on the northern Canadian border,” Tester said. “There is more emphasis on the north in this bill. The northern border is vast and not something that we should assume is secure. We need to make sure we give due attention to that border.” Tester has also joined the strongly supported 24-hour opening of the Canadian port at Wild Horse from his standpoint in the U.S. Senate. The waves from energy proposals are hitting the line, Tester said. “Montana can be a leader in the country with additional effort in ethanol, bio-fuels, methane and alternative energy.” The senator also noted the concerns with coal production as far as climate change resulting in melted polar ice caps in his campaign for energy. He joined the only other “working farmer” Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., 24 cosponsors and more than 400 agricultural, energy, environmental, business and labor groups in unveiling the 25 x 25 Action plan Wednesday. The plan is an effort to boost employment and farm income, cut pollution and reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil in a 25-year span of outlined recommendations. It fits right in with Tester’s Innovative Development of Energy and Agriculture policy that he is working toward for the betterment of Montana’s agriculture, natural and renewable resources. Working with Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg, Tester and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., introduced legislation that would allow the unrecognized Little Shell tribe to become the eighth in Montana eligible for health services, higher education assistance and other federal funding that they have gone without during the past century. “This bill fulfills a long overdue promise owed to the 4,500 Montanans who belong to the Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians,” Tester said. “Not only does this bill provide tribal land, it formally sets up a government-to-government relationship between the tribe and the United States, something all tribal nations deserve. This bill also cuts to the chase by requiring action now, rather than funding another red-tape study of the issue.” Tester can be reached at (866) 554-4403.