The story of how Randy Pinocci and Crow tribal leaders are trying to save coal while saving the American taxpayer billions and helping the environment was released last Friday. The plan is simple; turn the world’s cleanest coal into America’s currency of foreign aid to curtail waste and help American allies while saving American jobs. But can the plan work? Albert Gros-Venture says absolutely.
The Montana Daily Gazette spoke to Gros-Ventre, who assumed his position in March as CEO of the Crow Tribes at the behest of Chairman A.J. Not Afraid. Gros-Ventre has previously served in the director of human resources, a finance compliance officer, and in the private sector at First National Bank. Gros-Ventre has also served as a police officer and was elected into the judiciary, where he served about 8 years.
Gros-Ventre explained about the Pinocci-Crow Plan, “I just recently had the great pleasure to meet Randy. The information that he has already conveyed – not only to me, but to Chariman Not Afraid, he has explained what resources we may gain by the sale of our coal not only to the U.S. but outside the U.S. It’s a huge interest to us so that it can provide jobs. The way Pinocci speaks of this, it’s with great knowledge. I think the information he is conveying to us sparks something within us to know he is genuine and he is for us.”
He went on, “We as Crows, we are one of the biggest coal producers in Indian country. Because we don’t have a court, we’re closed off in regard to shipping it where it’s needed. But it’s a great resource for us to get to our people our capital annuity payment from coal production. This opportunity to increase production would be a great benefit to produce jobs and raise revenue to help our local people and members.”
He went on to discuss the positive environmental benefits, claiming, “We did learn that Crow coal is considered on the cleanest in terms of the BTU put out. We’re very proud of that. As the technology comes with other machinery that’s possible today, we’re going to strive to provide our product.”
Groc-Ventre seemed to indicate that Pinocci was one of the few offering to help and it was inspiring. He said, “If people had the heart to help other Montanans out like [Pincocci], that would be good. We’re Native people, but we’re all Montanans alike. We have to suppport each other and help each other and help our local economy. We want to help Montana-wide altogether.”
“If we can help both ways,” Groc Venture asserted, “not only helping ourselves but helping those who need our product function as both seller and buyer, it will help greatly. The Not Afraid Administration is very interested in helping out everyone through this plan.”
Currently, Not Afraid’s administration is reviewing the Pinocci-Crow Plan, after embracing it warmly over the weekend, and determining how to best move forward.
Groc-Venture concluded, “Randy is the only one who has come forward and made it a point to come meet with us locally here. We commend him for his efforts on that. He’s the only Public Service Commissioner to ever spark conversation with us, but Randy has been that and we appreciate his knowledge on this.”