"Gubernatorial hopefuls Steve Bullock and Rick Hill clashed Thursday night over who would do a better job developing Montana’s natural resources and bolstering education, sharpening their tone in their second debate of the campaign season," Helena Independent Record reporter Mike Dennison reports.
"'I am a strong advocate for natural-resource development in Montana, and the reason I am is that we are second-to-last in this country in terms of what we earn in salaries and wages,' Hill told an overflow crowd at the Montana Tech auditorium in Butte. 'There is no reason, with all the wealth we have in this state, that we’re next-to-last in take-home pay.'"
The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business & Economic Research reports Montana's $1.4 trillion Otter Creek coal tracts would provide 4,300 jobs and $92 million a year in tax revenue for schools and other services. Bullock pandered to the wealthy Sierra Club by voting against developing them.
"Hill used his question to attack Bullock’s record on coal development, asking why Bullock failed to join 24 state attorneys general from coal-producing states this year when they challenged new Environmental Protection Agency rules Hill said would harm coal-fired power plants."