Montana Urged to Boost Wind Power

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – A renewable-energy expert says Montana will play a crucial role as the U.S. grapples with energy over the next two decades.

Randy Udall, the son of former Arizona Congressman Mo Udall, was keynote luncheon speaker during the 37th annual meeting of the Northern Plains Resource Council in Billings.

Randy Udall said Montana is one of only two states in the country that is self-sufficient when it comes to the fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas.

“Montana is to fossil fuel as a piñata is to candy,” he told an audience in Billings. “You guys are loaded up.”

And as the nation fights to satisfy its appetite for energy, Udall said Montana will become a very attractive option for meeting that need.

“The largest threat to the environment is Montana will be asked to meet part of the nation’s needs,” Udall said. “It will be a difficult balancing act.”

Udall said Montana also has another world-class source of energy: wind. He believes Montana should take advantage of its abundance of wind energy.

“I’m convinced Montana should plant wind turbines as if they were trees in the coming decades,” he said.

Figuring out ways to reduce energy usage will be necessary, Udall said. On the supply side, it will be important to focus on energy sources that have a high energy return.

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