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Montana Governor: Oil and Gas Boom Could Fund Clean Energy

Dec 17, 2012
Source: 
(Reuters)

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who been an advocate of the recent oil and gas boom that could upend U.S. energy policy, says he will keep spreading his message when he leaves office.

Schweitzer, whose tenure as governor will end next month due to state term limits, said the wave of drilling across his state could be a model of how to eliminate the nation's dependence on foreign fuel - if lawmakers would just get out of the way.

"Those SOBs out there," he said. "They got $60 mouths and $2 ears."

Montana, which is the fourth-largest U.S. state but has only about 1 million residents, has not faced the public outcry against drilling that has often stymied exploration east of the Mississippi River.

Most of that opposition is misplaced, Schweitzer said. If managed right, he added, the onshore oil and gas bonanza could be used to fund a generation of cleaner energy.