In keeping with the idea that Montana needs to establish and maintain a significant level of self sufficiency, it is important to address the current and future energy needs of Montana while adhering to our standard of environmental considerations. There are several ways that Montana can expand our energy capacity without imposing a large negative impact on the environment. Primarily with regards to hydroelectric dams such as the existing facility at Hungry Horse Lake.
Montana is water rich. We have numerous rivers that could provide hydroelectric power, and with modern design considerations this can be accomplished without impacting native fish species. Hydroelectric dams are a safe, environmentally friendly, means of providing large scale power systems and allow for greater control of water management systems, thereby addressing two critical areas; power and water, with a single solution.
Young people attending Montana Universities are a viable source of manpower which can assist with the construction, maintenance and security of said facilities while earning their degree. Interested graduates may also find gainful employment supervising system operations. If properly planned, numerous sites with the appropriate resources could be identified as potential sources of economic opportunity with supporting waterways capable of providing power systems, thus giving rise to new developments and larger opportunities.
Additionally, we must better reinforce our electrical grid to protect from threats to our electrical infrastructure, either by nature, such as is the case with powerful solar flares, or by design, such as from an enemy attack, can render a power-grid useless, resulting in significant loss of life. This is however a simple problem to address. One made easier by the fact that Montana has the opportunity to start with a clean slate. Having no large scale, outdated infrastructure to workaround, designing new systems to address future requirements allows us the opportunity to leave a tremendous legacy to our children's children.
Other options such as geothermal and small scale solar power must also be explored where applicable. Yellowstone is a prime example of the volcanic activity that is present within the State of Montana, providing an unlimited source of potential power, while our new cities can utilize solar technology on windows and rooftops.
By utilizing the resources already at our disposal we can develop new and innovative solutions to our current and future energy needs, but we must take the preliminary steps of establishing a strong, independent Montana first. Only when we work as a team can we achieve the things we need to provide for our own future.