George Ochenski

George Ochenski


Why is climate change a partisan issue?

By: - April 29, 2022

These days, protecting the very systems that enable life on Earth has inexplicably become a partisan issue. But why would that be? We all need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, clean soil in which to grow food and a functioning, life-supporting climate. Without those essentials, life as we know it is imperiled […]


Montana is now a pot state, not a coal one — so tell our federal delegation

By: - April 22, 2022

For years now we have heard Jon Tester and Steve Daines declare themselves “coal state senators” whenever they so willingly vote against measures to reduce or tax the use of coal and its planet-killing pollution. But as recently released data show, the state and local tax revenue and number of jobs created by Montana’s legalization […]


Gianforte betrays his constitutional and public trust responsibilities

By: - April 15, 2022

Montanans were justifiably shocked when the news broke last week that Gov. Greg Gianforte stopped the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks from enforcing its instream flow water rights on the nationally famous Smith River as well as the Shields River. Thanks to the “right to know” provision in Montana’s Constitution reporters were able to […]


We’re getting worse — not better — when it comes to protecting the environment

By: - April 8, 2022

What will future generations and historians deduce when they look back at this turbulent period in world history and what the “leading nations” did or did not do to address the problems that are so serious they actually threaten the future of life as we know it on the planet? Given the increasingly complex and […]


The death spiral of globalization?

By: - April 1, 2022

Last week Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, sent the firm’s stockholders a letter in which he bluntly stated: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put an end to the globalization we have experienced over the last three decades.” BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm — and with more than $10 trillion in assets, one […]


Montana’s baseless election fraud circus sees an encore

By: - March 25, 2022

Once again, this column has to start with: You really can’t make this stuff up. And once again, it refers to another whack-a-doodle move by Montana’s Republican politicians that defies logic, reason and evidence. This time around, it’s the attempt by the far right wing of the GOP to call for a special legislative session to, […]


Too much of a good thing: Montanans getting fed up with some tourism

By: - March 18, 2022

The latest study from University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research finds the press of an increasing number of tourists is starting to wear on resident Montanans. For many, that comes as no surprise and more of a “firm grasp of the obvious.” When 10 times the number of people who live in our […]


Gianforte, Rosendale — Montana’s two national embarrassments

By: - March 11, 2022

Two of Montana’s top Republican elected officials made national news last week — and both for scandalous behavior that left people across the nation asking, “What’s wrong with these guys?” Gov. Greg Gianforte made the news for shooting a Yellowstone National Park mountain lion that had been treed by hounds. Known as “Cougar M220,” it […]


The tired old baloney about energy independence

By: - March 4, 2022

Once again, due to a conflict in some part of the world, our political leaders have the same old knee-jerk reaction — we must increase oil and gas drilling in the U.S. This time it’s the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the excuse, but it’s just the latest in a long line of facetious reasons to urge more […]


Gianforte, Republicans ignoring the will of conservation voters

By: - February 25, 2022

A new poll of those living in the Mountain West indicates the Republican officials in charge of Montana’s state government are out of step with voters’ conservation priorities, largely ignoring the most critical issues, and in many cases, are exacerbating those concerns by doing exactly the opposite of what voters think should be done. For […]


Montana leaders ignoring the law (with help from the Democrats)

By: - February 18, 2022

Late last week, Lee’s Montana State News Bureau reported on problems with state agencies stonewalling requests for information from the legislative auditor’s office. While few Montanans are familiar with the functions of this office and the vitally necessary duties it carries out, make no mistake that without it the checks and balances between the legislative […]


Another unconstitutional GOP-sponsored law bites the dust

By: - February 11, 2022

One year ago, the Republican-dominated Legislature cemented its place in history by passing more unconstitutional bills than any Legislature in recent memory. So far, more than 20 of the measures they passed and Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed into law have faced court challenges. Late last week, Helena District Court Judge Mike Menahan ruled against Gianforte […]