This isn’t the kind of money that’s floating in the air and that you can just reach out and grab, however. No, it’s more like the kind you can’t see, but which will be deposited in your account each month.
Well, that’s the idea if you’re a big time wind energy producer, and as you can see, Montana is about to have a lot more of them:
Most of the state is windy, as this map from the latest report by Renewable Northwest and Montanans for Good Jobs & Clean Air, which profiles 10 Years of Renewable Energy: The Economic Benefits for Montana (PDF).
I’ll be completely honest with you – I don’t know a whole lot about wind in Montana, or it’s potential. I’ve never been to the Judith Gap area, and I’ve never seen the huge windmills that they have there. They seem to be working, however, and they do create jobs…somewhat:
- I’m not an economist, but that sounds pretty good to me.
- I’m not an energy analyst, but that’s a lot more than the 12 permanent jobs than Keystone promised us.
- I’m not an environmental nutcase, but this type of energy development doesn’t destroy our environment.
And wow, those construction jobs sure went through the roof, though I’ll admit they’re temporary so maybe we don’t get that big a boost.
Hell, maybe none of these jobs are worth the investment required. Still, we need to fill that renewable gap, which the EPA has set for the state. Or did you not get the memo that says Montana needs to comply with carbon output by 2020? Oops!
We have a lot of other potential too, as you can see from these maps:
Why not expand this potential, and the potential earning capacity of some of these counties and the citizens living there? We can do this, and we should stop dragging our feet.
In Montana, it’s about to start blowing money.
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