It was disheartening to read last week that as soon as the coal bailout bill, Senate Bill 331, was voted down, a new bailout "vehicle," House Bill 597, rose in its place. When will the game-playing stop?

Polling has shown Montanans overwhelmingly reject the idea of bailing out uneconomic coal-burning power plants and giving a huge handout to NorthWestern Energy.

Now it seems the coal bailout is once again being tied to totally unrelated issues, museum funding and pre-K education among them. Hey, Helena: stop the horse-trading!

No coal bailouts. No subverting the Public Service Commission so it can't protect consumers from rate increases. No handouts to South Dakota-based NorthWestern.

Montana is supposed to be above the cynical politics that grip Washington, D.C. Instead, some of our legislators are trying to railroad this bill through. Enough! No on HB 597!

Please phone Gov. Steve Bullock, (406) 444-3111, and legislators at (406) 444-4800.

Ian Lange,

Jo-Ann Lange,

Julie Devlin,

Dennis O'Donnell,

members of

Montana Elders for

a Livable Tomorrow

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