Montana Environmental Information Center

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

Capitol Monitor is MEIC’s weekly legislative bulletin, filling you in on the legislative good, bad, and ugly. We include the most relevant legislative topics on the environment and conservation, and offer tools for contacting legislators and becoming involved in the legislative process in order to protect our environment.

March Madness (in April) at the Montana Legislature

March Madness may be over for college basketball, but madness is entering full swing at the Montana Legislature. This is the time of the session when the worst bills are being debated, when deals are being cut behind closed doors, and when legislators are trying to wrap up their work and get out of Helena as soon as possible. That all adds up to mischief. There are numerous dreadful bills that remain alive and we really need your help to kill them. Please call your legislators and the Governor TODAY and ask them to protect clean energy in Montana and your right to a clean and healthful environment.

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High Priority Half-Time Report

Legislators are heading into their half-time break, but MEIC is still working hard to support clean energy, clean water, and clean air, and we need your help too! Make a few phone calls, send a few emails, or talk to your legislator, and help protect Montana’s right to a healthy environment. There are several bad bills working their way through the legislature that would significantly harm clean energy development in Montana.

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Things Are Heating Up

Until now the 2017 legislative session focused on attacking clean energy. Many legislators seem intent on preventing Montanans from powering their homes and businesses with solar energy, or on stopping development of Montana’s outstanding wind resource. This approach will leave Montana “in the dust” as well as harm Montana’s workers, tax revenue, businesses, home owners, and the environment. Unfortunately, the bad ideas don’t stop there. Right now there are numerous bills to overturn important court decisions that protect clean water, to force government to pay for or eliminate regulations that decrease property values regardless of the need for the regulations, to decrease taxes and regulation on oil and gas development, and much, much more. We need your help to stop these bad ideas from becoming law!

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Expanding Clean Energy in Montana!

One of the best opportunities in the 2017 legislative session to improve Montana’s environmental laws involves the encouragement of renewable energy systems. There are several bills that MEIC supports that will improve our current clean energy laws and we will work hard to have passed. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly – there are even more bad bills that need to be defeated.

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Your “Insider’s Guide” to the Legislature, since 1973

Volume 22, Number 1 — December 21, 2017, PDF Version

Welcome to the first issue of MEIC’s Capitol Monitor for the 2017 legislative session.  As usual, you can expect to receive high-quality and up-to-date information on the session from MEIC.

We expect that this session will be one of the most challenging in MEIC’s 43-year history. We hope that by communicating  promptly and frequently with you—our members—you will be able to participate more effectively in our lobbying efforts.

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Contact Governor Bullock Today

Dirty Coal and Water Bills Headed to his Desk Need to be Vetoed

bullocksteve (1)

While a number of this session’s anti-environment bills were defeated due the efforts of MEIC and its allies, several “dirty coal” and dirty water bills have cleared the Legislature and now await action by Gov. Steve Bullock. Only his veto can stop these bills from becoming law.

We need you to e-mail, write, or call the governor TODAY, and ask him to veto these attacks on Montana’s clean air, clean water, and the global climate!

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Protecting the Environment from Uncontrolled Oil and Gas Development at the Legislature

Volume 21, Number 2 — February 4, 2015

PDF Version

Photo Courtesy of Tony Bynum.

Photo Courtesy of Tony Bynum.

Over the past decade, oil and gas development in Montana has experienced exponential growth and become a major environmental concern. With the advent of horizontal drilling, combined with hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking” as it’s known) there has been tremendous growth in the number of oil and gas wells, as well as in the associated infrastructure, particularly in the Bakken formation in eastern Montana. Unfortunately, fracking for oil and gas has major environmental implications, including air and water pollution, degradation of habitat, and climate change.

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Your “Insider’s Guide” to the 2015 Legislature

Volume 21, Number 1 — January 7, 2015

PDF Version

MT_Capitol11Welcome to the first issue of MEIC’s Capitol Monitor for the 2015 legislative session.  As usual, you can expect to receive high-quality and up-to-date information on the Montana legislative session.

We expect this session will be one of the most challenging in MEIC’s 41-year history. We hope that by communicating  promptly and frequently with you—our members—you will be able to participate more effectively in our lobbying efforts.

And—no kidding—we need your help. Our lobbyists cannot do it alone.  Protecting the environment this session will require everyone’s efforts. So please use the Capitol Monitor and our website (www.meic.org) to become involved. Let’s protect the things that make Montana special.

Legislators need to be told over and over that Montanans want clean air, clean water, clean energy, and the right to participate in government decision-making. If they don’t hear from you, it could be that they will only hear from well-heeled, self-interested lobbyists. It’s your choice.

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Contact Governor Bullock Today!

Volume 20, Number 3 — April 16, 2013

PDF Version

Bad Bills are Headed to His Desk!

Governor Steve Bulllock

Governor Steve Bulllock

While many of this session’s anti-environment bills did not “pass muster,” and have been defeated in committee or failed on a floor vote in the Senate or House, several bad bills have cleared the Legislature and now await action by Governor Steve Bullock. The only thing stopping these bills from becoming law is his veto. We need you to e-mail, write, and call the governor today, and ask him to veto these attacks on Montana’s clean air, water, and open landscapes!

With your help MEIC met with some success in stopping anti-environment bills from reaching the governor. Together we stopped a bill that would have prevented DEQ from acting on anonymous complaints, stopped an extreme “takings” bill, stopped an extremely burdensome and financially costly bill that would have required the State to coordinate with counties when making permitting decisions, stopped bills that would have reduced regulation of gravel mines, and stopped or amended bills that would have weakened your right to participate in government decision-making.

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Your Help is Needed this Session

Volume 20, Number 2 — January 14, 2012

PDF Version

Your Help is Needed this Session

This session’s anti-environment bills are largely a rehash of bad ideas that were defeated or vetoed in the 2011 Legislative Session. Some bills seek to encourage coal development and weaken clean energy laws such as the State’s renewable energy standard. Others take aim at our constitutional rights. Many bills rising from the ashes are aimed at weakening local land use laws. Fortunately, some legislators do want to address climate change. Ending the oil and gas tax holiday and preventing oil and gas companies from wasting natural resources with unnecessary flaring are just some of the good ideas emerging this session.

If you want to be a “citizen lobbyist,” attend one of our lobby days (see information below) and help us push good ideas forward or defeat one or two of the many anti-environment bills.

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