Tester to ‘keep holding G.M.’s feet to the fire’

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement in response to news from Governor Brian Schweitzer that General Motors has made a commitment to reopen talks with Montana’s Stillwater Mining Company:

“The fact that G.M. is open to investing again in American jobs instead of overseas jobs is hopeful news for Stillwater Mine, its employees and all of Montana.  But we’re not done yet.  Working together, Brian and Max and I will keep holding G.M.’s feet to the fire until they do right by the hardworking folks at Stillwater.”

Tester this week wrote to G.M. CEO Fritz Henderson, asking him to visit the Stillwater Mine near Nye, Mont.  Tester visited the mine and its employees Saturday.

Tester also launched a website, tester.senate.gov/stillwater, where Montanans can share their thoughts about G.M.’s decision.  Tester plans to deliver the comments he receives to G.M. and to the newly created White House Auto Task Force.

A bankruptcy judge last month upheld G.M.’s recent decision to cancel its contract to buy palladium from Stillwater Mine—America’s only producer of palladium.

G.M. said it instead plans to purchase its palladium from South Africa and Russia, even after accepting a $50 billion bailout from American taxpayers.  Palladium is a precious metal used to make catalytic converters, which filter pollution from cars and trucks.