Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer knows how to stand up to anti-environmental policies, and took it to a whole new level this week.
The Montana Democrat took to a podium while wielding a branding iron this week in perhaps the most exciting bill veto ever enacted. Schweitzer branded “veto” into several different bills that made it though the legislature and onto his desk this week.
Senate Bill 306 would have allowed new opened pits to contain cyanide in the state, something many thought would be a serious threat to clean water in Big Sky country. As Schweitzer pressed the flaming brand against the bill he shouted, “This one is for clean water!”
The second bill he vetoed using the branding iron was Senate Bill 159, which would have amended the state’s building codes to discourage energy conservation investment. Schweitzer said that those supporting the bill are either “not very good with energy or not very good with numbers, either way it’s getting veto branded!”
Then Schweitzer applied the brand to Senate Bill 109, which would have greatly rolled back Montana’s renewable energy standard. I would like to give this a bull brand, but that would be a little on the silly side so we will give this a yearling brand,” said Schweitzer.
As someone who has covered his fair share of politics in the West, even I was surprised at these tactics. But I think anti-environmentalists in the Montana legislature will think twice before they try to pass similar bills while Schweitzer is in office. To grasp the full coolness of Schweitzer’s actions check out the video below.