Tester announces assistance to create jobs along the Hi-Line

Senator praises effort to promote renewable energy

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Tester announced today that the Montana State University-Northern Bio-Energy Center in Havre will receive assistance to create jobs through biofuel research and development.

The project will pair the university with local investors, as well as local farmers, to grow crops and process them into biofuel, a clean-burning form of energy made from Montana-grown plants.

“With today’s announcement, Montana is taking another step forward to create renewable energy jobs and tap into Montana’s vast energy resources,” Tester said.  “MSU Northern and Bear Paw Development Corporation will work with local developers to create jobs, promote biofuel projects along the Hi-Line, and grow Montana's economy.  I will continue my fight for smart investments that support Montana’s local markets and put Montanans to work.”

According to the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, the grant has the potential to “create 26 jobs and generate $90 million in private investment” in North Central Montana.

Tester’s support for Montana-grown biofuels goes back to the 2007 Farm Bill.  He successfully included an amendment requiring the Department of Agriculture to development a crop insurance offering.  Last year, the Department announced that 41 counties in Montana would be eligible for participation in Tester’s camelina crop insurance program.

Tester also secured a grant in 2009 to help MSU-Northern expand its Bio-Energy Center.