Senators urge Air Force official to bring energy mission to Malmstrom

Baucus, Tester Says Mission To Harness Energy Would Create Jobs, Be Good Fit For Electric City

(Washington, D.C.) – As part of their ongoing efforts to bring a new mission to Malmstrom, Montana U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today met with a top Air Force official about harnessing Montana's energy sources for a new mission for Malmstrom. 

The senators met with William Anderson, the Assistant Secretary for Installations, Environment and Logistics about the possible new mission. Today's meeting was a follow-up to Secy. Anderson's trip to Montana in July, which was at Baucus' and Tester's request.

Secy. Anderson is looking into bringing a new mission to Malmstrom that would harness Montana's energy sources. The mission would use clean coal technology, including carbon sequestration, to turn coal into jet and other types of fuel. The senators are interested in looking into bringing this mission to Malmstrom as long as carbon sequestration was used. During the meeting, Baucus and Tester highlighted the abundance of open space, coal, the support of Montana's elected officials and the community in developing clean energy, which would help create jobs.

"By bringing an energy mission to Malmstrom we'll be able to create more good-paying jobs and help boost our domestic energy production, which will lessen our dependence on foreign oil," Baucus said. "This new mission sounds very interesting and very promising and if it's done right with carbon sequestration, I think it would be a good fit for Great Falls. I'm committed to working together with Sen. Tester, Governor Schweitzer and others to find a new mission for Malmstrom."

"Malmstrom already plays a critically important role facilitating and protecting the world's most powerful weapons system," Tester said.  "This could be a good opportunity to assign Malmstrom to yet another critical role—to become a leading pioneer in responsible energy development for the entire country."

Both Baucus and Tester have vigorously for fought a second mission at Malmstrom in response to the Pentagon's decision to remove 50 of the base's 200 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

The senators said that energy mission could bring more than 1,000 good-paying jobs to Great Falls, which would be a huge boost to the Electric's City economy. Baucus and Tester hope that a new mission can be a reality within a year.

This year, Baucus and Tester secured $140 million for new housing units at Malmstrom Air Force Base.  They also had the Senate Appropriations Committee set aside $7 million to build a new Community Activity Center on the base.