The Latest ‘Yellowstone’ Episode Hits Solar Panels and Sage Grouse
We had a caller, Jeff from Butte, on Monday's statewide radio show. He loved the fact that Governor John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner in the hit TV show "Yellowstone", fired his entire policy team. He also really liked the part of the episode dealing with oil, gas, solar panels, and sage grouse. As someone who talks Montana politics every day, I concur.
It was great. Basically, John Dutton walks into a meeting with all of his policy advisors and asks what they're talking about. They tell him how they're going to cancel a gas project in Eastern Montana due to sage grouse concerns. They then tell him how they're going to approve a massive solar power project.
That leads to this back and forth:
John Dutton: And what effect you think 7000 acres of solar panels are going to have on their environment?
Stanley: There's no evidence that solar panels would have any impact on the sage grouse
John Dutton: What do they do with the sagebrush when they put in the solar panels?
Stanley: They, they, they would clear it before putting in the solar panels.
John Dutton: And remove the sagebrush?
Stanley: Yes sir.
John Dutton: Sage Grouse live in the sagebrush.
Stanley: They do.
John Dutton: And you don't think removing the sagebrush is gonna have an effect on the population?
Stanley: I just said there's no evidence...
John Dutton: You know what scares me about you, Stanley? You're serious.
Here's the clip:
You know what else is interesting when it comes to the sage grouse debate in Montana? Energy development doesn't harm sage grouse habitat. What they actually complain about are the power lines. Why? Because predator birds that eat the sage grouse use the power lines as a perch to hunt from. So basically, it is the predators that are the problem - not the energy projects.
Here's more feedback on that same episode from Nicole in Columbus:
My favorite comment of John Dutton's is at the very end, when he walks away with his advisor... He says "How much money did I just save the state", meaning when he fired all those TreeHuggers. Made me laugh. Another "beef" I have is that much of that wind and solar power doesn't stay here to make our electricity cheaper, it goes to California. So they foul up our environment, our views, and mess with our wildlife to have electricity that isn't even viable. They're constantly on some electricity saving mandate, or losing power. These big city people are phenomenal at telling us how we are destroying rural America, but they come here because of our views, nature, the quiet beauty...hmmm how is it destroyed again?
The latest episode from Yellowstone: