What YOU Can Do This Week

Five Ways to Protect the Environment and Fight Climate Change in MT

MEIC has decided to provide a list of five or so things you can do each week to help protect the environment and fight for action on climate change. The Montana legislature moves quickly and your help is needed as changes happen. We urge you to make a few telephone calls and send a few e-mails each week to help us protect all of our rights to clean air, clean water and a healthy climate.

This week’s actions are:

1. Call or e-mail your Montana House Representative and ask him or her to oppose HB 205 (Rep. Alan Redfield, R-Livingston). The general phone line for the legislature is (406) 444-4800, and you can leave a message for up to 5 legislators. The bill would impose a $300 annual fee on electric vehicles and a $150 fee on hybrid electric vehicles. Redfield used fuzzy math to calculate the amount he thinks electric and hybrid vehicle owners should pay each year to offset the money they don’t pay into the gas tax fund. The bill is a veiled attempt to harm people who use a more environmentally responsible vehicle. No calculation was made of the benefit these vehicle owners provide to us all. The bill is being debated on the House Floor on Tuesday, January 31st, and will have a final House vote on Wednesday, February 1st. After Wednesday, call your state senator and urge her or him to vote against this bad idea.

2. Call or e-mail the House Natural Resource Committee members and ask them to vote against HB 339 (Rep. Carl Glimm, R-Kila). The general phone line for the legislature is (406) 444-4800, and you can leave a message for the whole committee. This bill seeks to overturn the Montana Supreme Court ruling that protected Montana’s groundwater from a loophole used by developers to create sprawl and harm agriculture across the state. HB 339 would overturn the court ruling and allow developers to continue creating large subdivisions using wells that deplete and pollute aquifers without any consideration of senior water rights. The bill will be heard in House Natural Resources on Wednesday, February 1st, and is likely to be voted on by the committee in the week of February 6th.

3. Call or e-mail the House Energy Committee and urge it to vote NO on two bills. The general phone line for the legislature is (406) 444-4800, and you can leave a message for the whole committee. First, SB 32 (Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell) would undermine Montana’s Renewable Energy Standard by repealing the section of that law which requires NorthWestern Energy to purchase a small portion of its electricity from community renewable energy projects such as small-scale wind and solar projects. These projects help to diversify NorthWestern’s portfolio and provide economic benefits to communities across the state. The bill was heard in the House Energy Committee on Monday, January 30th, and is will likely to be voted on Friday, February 3rd. Second, SB 7 (Sen. Pat Connell, R-Hamilton) is an attack on Montana’s homeowners and the state’s burgeoning rooftop solar industry. The bill would discriminate against net-metering customers (those who generate small amounts of electricity using renewable resources such as solar on their homes and businesses). The bill will be heard in the House Energy Committee on Friday, February 3rd, and is likely to be voted on by the committee on Friday, February 10th.

4. Call Governor Steve Bullock (you can leave a message for him at (406) 444-3111 and urge him to oppose these bills and stand up for Montana’s clean energy, water resources, agriculture, businesses, and homeowners.

5. Call Montana’s U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines and ask them to protect our environment and public health while maintaining our clean air, clean water, and clean energy laws, by rejecting Pres. Donald Trump’s nomination of EPA foe Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Senator Jon Tester: (202) 224-2644
  • Senator Steve Daines: (202) 224-2651

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