U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, addressed the Montana Legislature on Feb. 20 in Helena. The GOP senator from Belgrade was critical of President Joe Biden and other Democrats on the economy, energy and the flow of fentanyl and other illegal drugs.
Here are some highlights from Daines’ address.
On oil and renewable energy:
During his State of the Union Speech, President Biden said we might need oil for 10 more years. Ten more years?
Joe Biden and Senate Democrats are living in a green hallucination — they are unrealistic about our domestic energy needs.
Here are the facts. According to Joe Biden’s Department of Energy over the course of the next 25 years, global energy demand is going to increase 50 percent.
And renewable sources of energy such as hydropower, wind, and solar will continue growing to meet our future needs but fossil fuels will remain the most relied upon source of energy for the next 30 years or more. We can’t let the Green New Deal advocates burn down today’s energy bridges, until the new bridges are built and proven reliable and affordable.
Furthermore, radical environmental groups keep obstructing new copper and silver mines in Montana, which are needed for a renewable energy future, like they’ve been doing for over 30 years with the Rock Creek and Montanore mines in Northwest Montana and killing hundreds of good-paying jobs.
We need an all-of-the-above portfolio of Made in America and Made in Montana energy — we shouldn’t rely on oil from Venezuela, Iran, or our Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
On President Biden and the flow of fentanyl:
From the out-of-control southern border, to the botched Afghanistan withdrawal that left 13 American troops dead, to shutting down the Keystone pipeline, and then begging the Venezuelan dictatorship for oil, to record-breaking inflation and now the Chinese spy balloon fiasco, which many Montanans saw firsthand with their own eyes, Joe Biden is empowering our enemies and putting American national security at risk.
Since Joe Biden took office and the Democrats took the U.S. Senate majority two years ago, they radically changed policies resulting in chaos on our southern border, allowing over five million illegal immigrants to flood into the United States.
Montana is not immune to this crisis. We are a northern border state with a southern border crisis.
Mexican cartels are using chemicals from China to make fentanyl in Mexico and ship it across our southern border. From there, it wreaks havoc on communities across the nation, including right here in Montana.
In the first three quarters of 2022, Montana law enforcement seized more fentanyl in our state than they did in the last four years combined.
Fentanyl poisoning has quickly and quietly become the leading cause of death for 18-45 year olds.
I’d be surprised if there is anyone in this room who doesn’t know of someone who lost a family member or close friend to fentanyl poisoning.
On Biden and forest management:
Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address lasted over an hour but he never mentioned any meaningful solutions to securing the southern border.
He has also spent the last two years neglecting Montanans’ calls for common-sense permitting reform and forest management projects to help protect the West from another devastating wildfire season.
Montanans are tired of watching the sky fill with smoke and our forests burn.
Radical environmental groups combined with Ninth Circuit Judges obstruct our collaborative forest management projects and expose our Montana communities to the devastating effects of catastrophic wildfires.
I am working hard to pass my bipartisan solution to the Ninth Circuit Court Cottonwood decision and hand Montanans back the tools we need to manage our own forests and grow our timber jobs. Because either we are going to better manage our forests, or our forests are going to manage us.
I am grateful Governor Gianforte is leading the fight to manage our forests on a state level.
On taxes and inflation:
One thing Governor Gianforte understands that President Biden does not is that raising taxes will not grow the economy.
In the face of skyrocketing national inflation, Governor Gianforte has provided meaningful tax relief for Montana families and businesses and made our economy more competitive and is moving forward with the largest Montana income tax cut ever. Let’s get it done!
Montana has become a sanctuary for freedom and free enterprise. People are moving to Montana not just for our quality of life, but also for quality of leadership. They are fleeing the heavy hand of blue state governors, and headed for more freedom.
On the other hand, President Biden and Senate Democrats’ have spent their way to the brink of recession.
Last week’s Producer Price Index clocked in twice as high as expectations, indicating inflation remains a serious issue. This sky-high inflation is a tax on every Montanan.
From the gas pump to the grocery store, Montanans are struggling to make ends meet.