Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-Mont.) thinks the use of American troops to defend energy interests abroad is absurd.

During a press conference on May 23, the Montana governor told reporters, “Washington, D.C., responds best to crisis. And if having 225,000 men and women in the Middle East defending the oil supply for petro-dictators is not a crisis, I don’t know what is.”

Schweitzer is known for being a straight shooter and a flair for the dramatic. Just a month ago Schweitzer made headlines for vetoing several anti-environment bills in Montana with a flaming branding iron.

Most know the Montana governor from a 2008 appearance in which he delivered a resounding speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. During that speech, Schweitzer focused on energy and presidential candidate John McCain’s belief that we should continue to give tax breaks to the largest oil companies in the country. “John McCain wants more of the same and has taken more than a million dollars in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry. Now he wants to give the oil companies another $4 billion in tax breaks. Four billion in tax breaks for big oil?”

Fast-forward to this week, when Schweitzer has continued to take shots at the fossil fuel industry. Prior to making those comments about the military being used to protect oil interests, Schweitzer said, “It is pretty clear that the hydrocarbon industry will do everything that they can do to step on alternatives for the time being.”

Schweitzer has been governor of Montana since 2005. Due to term limits there, he will be leaving in 2013. As for what he will do once he steps down, that’s anyone's guess. My two guesses are either Interior Department Secretary or motivational speaker. (I hope it’s the latter.)

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