MACo’s Energy Committee focuses on energy policy that balances increased domestic oil and gas and coal production on public and privately-owned lands.

Committee Policy Statements

Committee policy statements are a compilation of various issues and/or beliefs, which members have identified as major concerns and goals of county government. A “policy statement” provides guidance to staff, legislators, and the public on MACo’s position regarding possible legislation and/or issues that may arise during a legislative session and/or the Interim.

Energy Committee Policy Statements

MACo seeks a comprehensive and integrated approach to an energy policy that balances increased domestic oil and gas and coal production on public and privately-owned lands.

  1. MACo seeks a comprehensive and integrated approach to an energy policy that accelerates development, research and incentives for alternative and renewable energy efficiency programs, and clean coal technologies.
  2. MACo seeks a comprehensive and integrated approach to an energy policy that gives local governments a central role in formulating environment, energy, and land use policies.
  3. MACo seeks a comprehensive and integrated approach to an energy policy that continues energy conservation programs that reduce consumption and encourage efficient energy use.
  4. MACo supports state and federal funding and other incentives to promote research, explore the interrelationships among energy, capital, labor, and materials, and the technological problems of energy systems. Federal research efforts should be broad-based, unbiased, and equitable among the various energy technologies, with the results of the research being disseminated by all levels of government and the private sector through a variety of public education technologies.
  5.  MACo believes that state and federal governments should work with local governments.
  6. MACo supports nuclear power as a component of a comprehensive energy program. MACo encourages the continued research, improvement and development of nuclear power and related technologies that add to its safety and efficiency.
  7. MACo supports the siting and permitting regulations of new renewable/alternative energy projects to remain at the county level of government.
  8. MACo supports legislative and/or budgetary relief that speeds the permitting and siting process for new transmission lines, pipelines, coal mines, oil wells, and other natural resource development through regulatory agencies, in cooperation and coordination with impacted counties.
  9. MACo believes all energy programs should be periodically reviewed and analyzed for efficiency and effectiveness in achieving their goals. Programs that are found to be ineffective or inefficient should be reengineered in collaboration with county, state, and other local governments.
  10. MACo supports an increase in fueling infrastructure stations to support the promotion of AFVs.
  11. MACo supports the Department of Energy’s efforts to decrease reliance on foreign oil by focusing on alternative fuels such as ethanol, methanol, compressed natural gas, electricity, and biodiesel, among other agents. The ethanol used in E-85 is a renewable fuel that provides benefits to American farmers and rural areas of the country.
  12. MACo supports increased fuel economy for trucks and cars to reduce fuel costs and air pollution that are economically feasible.
  13. MACo supports counties retaining full authority over their own rights-of-way and recovery costs for their use.
  14. MACo supports recognition of electrical, geographic, and institutional differences such as the western and eastern electrical grids having different features and challenges.
  15. MACo supports DOE and state utility commissions continuing their important role in ensuring that all consumers can count on the long-term integrity, safety, and reliability of their electricity service.
  16. MACo is in support of the use of Montana highways being used for the transport of goods and services including large loads deemed safe and proper by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) in their permitting process.
  17. MACo supports dialog between county officials before taking legal action that causes adverse economic impacts on other counties.
  18. MACo supports an energy policy that provides economic incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovation technology awards and research and development and opposes any legislative or regulatory proposals, such as a cap and trade system or carbon tax that would pass direct and indirect costs and/or taxes onto counties, consumers, and businesses.
  19. MACo supports efforts intended to mitigate impacts caused by lost revenue by the closure of natural resource entities.
  20. MACo supports the development of new U.S. natural resource export facilities and will encourage the Montana Legislature and Attorney General to support the same.

Committee Members

  • Shane Gorder, Co-chair Richland County Commissioner
  • Doug Martens, Co-chair, Rosebud County Commissioner
  • Melanie Roe, Co-chair, Sweet Grass County Commissioner
  • Mary Armstrong, Valley County Commissioner
  • Steve Baldwin, Fallon County Commissioner
  • Sidney Fitzpatrick, Big Horn County Commissioner
  • Donna Giacometto, Powder River County Commissioner
  • Don Hajenga, Judith Basin County Commissioner
  • Adam Jones, Wheatland County Commissioner
  • Robert (Bob) Lee, Rosebud County Commissioner
  • Darin Miske, Wibaux County Commissioner
  • Gordon Oelkers, Roosevelt County Commissioner
  • Denis Pitman, Yellowstone County Commissioner
  • Steve Rosencranz, Carter County Commissioner
  • Dale Seifert, Pondera County Commissioner
  • Richard Snellman, Teton County Commissioner
  • Alan Stempel County Commissioner
  • Terry Tomsheck, Toole County Commissioner
  • Mike Turley, Musselshell County Commissioner
  • William (Bill) Wallace, Sweet Grass County Commissioner
  • Chris Westergard, Sheridan County Commissioner
  • Dennis Zander, Dawson County Commissioner