Senator continues talks with FBI officials

Sidney Herald

by Bill Vander Weele

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., continues to be aware of the population growth in the Bakken area and some of the problems that it brings including increased crime.

“We’ve been visiting with the FBI in particular about increasing their efforts in eastern Montana and working with local law enforcement officials to be able to get especially the drug situation under control,” Tester said during a press conference with state media last week. “The truth is we have been in contact with the FBI, have been and will continue to be in the future to make sure they understand the problems of a very high growth area of our economy.”

The senator said many agencies need to work together to decrease the amount of drug crimes occurring in the region. He mentioned the FBI, highway patrol, county sheriffs, police departments and border patrols.

“With the challenges of law enforcement, we need some help, and that’s what we’re talking with them (FBI) about,” Tester said.

In other topics during the phone conference:

• Tester feels the best part of the new farm bill for Montanans is improved crop insurance. “When times are good, when we have drought situations in particular, the crop insurance is very important.”

He is also optimistic about the future of agriculture in the state.

“Agriculture, and particularly family farm agriculture, is something that if we have to lose will change this country in a way that is not for the better,” the senator said. “I feel the future of agriculture is very bright. Why? Now we aren’t only in production but also energy production. Agriculture can both play a role in not only production of food but in energy. I think that’s a very good side for the future of agriculture.”

As far as efforts to improve safety when transporting oil by rail, Tester said, “We need to continue to work to make rail as safe as possible. It impacts everybody.”

He added, “It’s one of the reasons I’ve pushed hard for the XL pipeline. It’s the right thing to do.”