Montana Environmental Information Center

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

You Have the Right to Know What Toxins Are in Your Water

by Derf Johnson

The science is in. The practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” can and does lead to contamination of ground and surface water. This fact has been shown in several studies that have conclusively demonstrated a link between fracking activities and groundwater pollution. These findings are not all that shocking, as no technology is 100% safe, regardless of the misinformation that the oil and gas industry has been spewing for the past decade. There are numerous ways that the chemicals used in fracking can pollute water, including during the drilling process, transportation to and from the drill site, while being stored after drilling, and when well blow-outs occur.

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MEIC Challenges Decision to Open Up 115 Billion Tons of Coal to Mining

by Anne Hedges

MEIC joined with environmental organizations in Wyoming, Montana and across the nation to challenge the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision to open vast amounts of federal land to oil, gas, and coal development. BLM’s Resource Management Plans (RMPs) are intended to guide the agency’s decision making in managing federal lands. In this instance, BLM issued an RMP for the entire Rocky Mountain region, including the coal-rich Montana and Wyoming Powder River Basin. BLM’s RMP would open more than 10 million acres of land for oil and gas drilling and coal mining in the Powder River Basin over the next 20 years.

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Smith River Mine Update

by Derf Johnson

Below are two updates on the proposed Smith River copper mine. This mine is proposed by an Australian mining company that wants to mine adjacent to and directly underneath Sheep Creek, the most important tributary of the Smith River. The Smith River is Montana’s only recreational river requiring floating permits. It is an incredible resource for the state of Montana, and an ecological wonder. It’s certainly not the place for a large hardrock mine.

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Montana’s Reaction to NorthWestern’s Long-Term Energy Plan: More Wind and Solar!

by Brian Fadie

Every two years NorthWestern Energy is required to submit a long-term plan to the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) outlining the utility’s 20-year vision for the energy sources it will acquire to meet the needs of its customers’ homes and businesses. The plan is called the “Electricity Supply Resource Procurement Plan” (RPP) and the latest version was released earlier this year.

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Show the PSC your preferred energy future

by Brian Fadie

Do you know what sources of energy power your home and turn on your lights in Montana?

Now you can show and tell the people who make decisions about our energy future what sources you would like to see with a new online tool. PicMyEnergyMix Montana will send a picture of the energy mix you want straight to the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC), showing them what Montanans want as they consider the resource plan for the state’s largest utility.

Use the PicMyEnergyMix Montana tool today.

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Now It’s Time to Take Care of Workers

by Anne Hedges

No doubt the news of the last two weeks has frightened the folks who live in Colstrip. Politicians and climate deniers have spent years giving workers and community members false hope, misleading them, and trying to convince them that if they just support the “correct” political party they can avoid the inevitable change that is occurring across the country and around the globe.

The current change in the energy market is being driven by the rapid decline in the price of natural gas, wind energy, solar energy, and efficiency. It is also driven by concerns about climate change, from the current impacts we are already experiencing, to the predicted impacts on economies, public health, the environment, property, and global stability.

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Keep the Smith the Smith

Guest Post: Senator Jon Tester

My Approved Portraits

In the Last Best Place, the Smith River represents one of the best places to float, fish, and camp, and one of the last places you can escape civilization and truly experience Montana as our ancestors did.  That 59 mile stretch between Camp Baker and the Eden Bridge is a gateway to the Montana the first settlers and Native Americans lived in. It’s a gateway to our past and a treasured place for our future.

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Montana Governor’s Energy Plan Appreciated

by Anne Hedges

Yesterday, Montana Governor Steve Bullock unveiled a much anticipated Blueprint for Montana’s Energy Future. We continue to disagree with his position on the Clean Power Plan and his argument that choosing between burning coal and climate solutions is a “false choice.” However the vast majority of the blueprint shows leadership and vision. This type of planning is the key to unlocking the potential for 4,000 clean energy jobs across Montana. Montana needs to quickly adapt to a changing energy market. Whether Montanans like it or not, the demand for clean energy is soaring, and Montana is in a perfect position to take advantage of that opportunity.

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Otter Creek: A Landscape Spared

by Derf Johnson

Seldom visited and population sparse southeastern Montana is one of the more incredible and unique places in the state. It is a land of rolling hills dotted with sandstone faces and spires, and islands of clustered forests separated by a sea of prairie. It has an incredibly rich history and cultural importance to the people who still call it home. It is a vast and harsh country that cannot be truly appreciated until one sets foot in it. A friend once told me: “people don’t fully understand Montana until they become acquainted with eastern Montana.”

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Top 6 Reasons Why Montana Should Throw in the Towel on the Otter Creek Coal Mine

by Anne Hedges

The Otter Creek mine is dead. It’s time to admit it and move on. The landscape has so fundamentally changed over the last 6 months for coal generally and the Otter Creek project specifically that it is time to stop throwing good taxpayer money after bad. Up until now DEQ has done a decent job in identifying the deficiencies in Arch Coal’s application to build the largest coal mine in the U.S. But now it’s time for the State to shelve this project. Here are just a few of the reasons the State of Montana should stop paving the way for a coal mine in the Otter Creek valley:

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