Montana Environmental Information Center

Clean and healthful. It's your right, our mission.

Clean energy in Montana needs your help!

The legislature may only be in week two, but bills are already moving full speed ahead.

This week there are multiple important bills being heard on clean energy that need your help – some good, some bad. Please read more and then take action!

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Montana Board of Oil and Gas Fails to Do its Job

by Derf Johnson

It’s only reasonable, and legally required, that Montana’s water resources should be adequately protected. It’s also reasonable and legally required that, if water is to be polluted by toxins, the source of the contamination should be identified and controlled. Unfortunately, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (Board) doesn’t agree. Instead, it chose secrecy over public disclosure, and damaged the constitutional right of all Montanans to a clean and healthful environment.

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A Federal Agency is Blocking Montana Renewable Energy Development

by Anne Hedges

Should the federal government impose a roadblock to clean energy development in Montana? Should it squash Montana wind energy development by imposing an extra charge that ensures Montana wind can’t compete in out-of-state electricity markets? You may think that’s what could happen in a President-elect Trump Administration, but it’s already happening right now.

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How Bad Will the 2017 Montana Legislative Session Be? Really Bad.

by Anne Hedges

For months most of us have said: “I’ll be glad when this is over.” Now the old adage rings true – be careful what you wish for.

There’s no getting around it, the elections at the national level were very dismal for the environment (and a lot of other issues). In Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock fought off a challenge from a self-financed billionaire whose primary campaign platform was to save Colstrip from evil environmentalists. Apparently Montanans weren’t buying what Gianforte was selling.

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Now is not the time to hide under the covers

by Anne Hedges

Now that the election results have had a chance to sink in, here are some quick thoughts on what it means for the environment.

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Montanans LOVE – and I mean LOVE – Clean Energy

by Anne Hedges

Two recent Montana specific polls tell an undeniable truth – Montanans love clean energy. While we’ve known for years that the nation and the world support more clean energy development, these polls bring it home to our own backyard. And while Montanans support for renewable energy is off the charts, our support for increased energy efficiency is nearly unanimous.

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EIA: Mountain states quickly moving away from coal

This week the Energy Information Administration (EIA) put out electricity generation numbers for mountain west states showing an on average decline in coal use by 13% over the past ten years.

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Now that Solar is Cost Competitive, Utilities are Taking Aim at This 1978 Energy Law

Guest post by Ed Smeloff, Managing Director of the Regulatory Team at Vote Solar

There’s an emerging trend among utilities across the country to undermine a law that promotes solar energy. The attack is on a decades-old law called the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA – a law that has paved the way for policies that have brought renewable energy into the mainstream in the United States.

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A Major Victory for Clean Water at Colstrip

by Derf Johnson

Montana is riddled with the ghosts of industries past – the Berkeley Pit, the Clark Fork River, the Zortman/Landusky, Beal Mountain, and Belt Creek mines, the ASARCO smelter site in East Helena, the asbestos contamination in Libby – just to name a few. The list goes on and on, for both recent as well as historic sites, at which the land and water have been polluted and degraded, and, too often, which have required taxpayer funds to remediate and manage them.

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Victory: Subdivision Sewage Discharge Permit Declared Void in Bitterroot Valley

by Jim Jensen

A wastewater discharge permit issued to the proposed Grantsdale subdivision on Skalkaho Road south of Hamilton by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was issued illegally according to a recent State district court ruling.

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