It seems three U.S. Senators are trying to use the North Fork Watershed Protection Act as a bargaining chip . . .
Sen. Jon Tester claimed last week that the North Fork Watershed Protection Act was being held up by three Republican senators — Tom Cruz, of Texas, Tom Coburn, of Oklahoma, and Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania.
The Act, which would ban all future oil, mineral and gas leases on federal lands in the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead River, sailed through the Republican-controlled House last month on a voice vote. Republican Rep. Steve Daines sponsored the bill.
Tester claimed the three Senate Republicans holding up the bill want other federal lands opened for exploration if lands here are withdrawn. Tester noted that the Senate has different rules than the House, and it’s much easier for a few Senators to hold up legislation.