Contact the Governor – We Need Vetoes!

The Montana Legislature is in its final week, and several bad bills are heading to the Governor. The Governor is making his decision RIGHT NOW on whether to sign them into law or veto these terrible bills. Below is a quick and easy list of bills — contact the Governor and request vetos. Please help fight for our right to a clean and healthful environment. Pick one or do all four. However much you decide to do will help make a difference.

Call and email Governor Bullock today and ask him to veto these bad bills: 406-444-3111, [email protected]

SB 235 – Arbitrarily Extending State Land Coal Leases

This bill, by Senator Tom Richmond (R-Billings), would allow the Montana Land Board to extend the date for coal leases beyond their traditional 10-year term, without any additional time constraints, if the Board finds that it would be in the “best interest of the state.” The bill could result in a lease renewal for the Otter Creek coal tracts if Arch Coal fails to develop the mine at the end of its current 10-year lease. This also could potentially result in the State foregoing revenue from a new lease.

SB 337 – Eliminating the Board of Environmental Review 

Senator Duane Ankney

Senator Duane Ankney

This bill, by Senator Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip), would eliminate the Montana Board of Environmental Review (BER). The BER has oversight authority over the Department of Environmental Quality for rule-making, as well as deciding challenges to permit decisions and enforcement actions. The BER acts as an independent body that determines whether DEQ follows the law and whether rules need to be changed to help DEQ accomplish its mission to protect public health and safety. Polluting industries are upset that the BER has refused to rubber stamp permits issued by DEQ for water discharges and coal mine expansions. Eliminating the BER would be a blow to the public’s right to hold DEQ accountable.

SB 248 – Exempting Wells in Family Transfers

This bill, by Senator Mark Blasdel (R-Kalispell), would allow anyone using the family transfer exemption in the subdivision and platting act to also be guaranteed an exemption from obtaining a water right for a well that pumps up to 35 gallons per minute. This would eliminate any checks on the location of the new well and whether it will have any influence on neighboring water wells or sewage. The family transfer exemption is already a big exemption in the subdivision law, and this bill would compound the problem.

SB 154 – Eliminate Net Metering Incentives

Senator Mike Lang

Senator Mike Lang

This bill, by Senator Mike Lang (R-Malta), would harm solar jobs and investments in Montana by eliminating modest incentives for net metered clean energy systems. Montana’s solar industry is on the cusp of explosive growth that would create new, good paying jobs across the state. Instead of seeking to help these new jobs and businesses grow, this bill bluntly targets only net metering tax credits for elimination. When the Republican controlled legislature first passed net metering in 1999, it found that “it is in the public interest to promote net metering because it encourages private investment in renewable energy resources, stimulates Montana’s economic growth, and enhances the continued diversification of the energy resources used in Montana.”

Call and email Governor Bullock today and ask him to veto these bad bills: 406-444-3111, [email protected]