We need to ask you to make another phone call. The future of large-scale, renewable energy in Montana has so much potential, and it’s in danger.
A bill sponsored by Sen. Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip), SB 338, is a punitive bill that will scare away renewable energy investments in Montana’s rural counties, denying communities good jobs and a long term tax base. This bill would force the owners of Colstrip to pay unprecedented and outrageous amounts to the state of Montana, the town of Colstrip, and for commercial and residential real estate in and around Colstrip, yet the bill fails to require that the owners will cover the costs of cleaning up the land and water surrounding the plant, and fails to require the Colstrip owners to provide clean water to the community after the plant is gone.
Legislators need to hear from you that this is the wrong approach. Call the Montana House Energy, Technology, and Federal Relations Committee right now at 1-888-369-5821 and tell them to vote NO on SB 338. It’s easy, and you can leave a message for the whole committee with this one call.
I do want to be clear — Colstrip needs a transition plan and assistance. But SB 338 is not the answer. If it passes, Montana will miss out on one of the fastest growing industries – clean energy – in the United States.
Because Montana has the potential to produce more energy than we use, out-of-state utilities are the ones who would buy wind and solar energy in Montana. SB 338 puts a giant “closed for business” sign on our state and discourages utilities that have been buying energy from Montana for decades from investing in renewable energy here in Montana. An earlier draft of SB 338 estimated the owners of the Colstrip plant would pay between $30-80 million, even though it fails to protect the environment, ensure Montana taxpayers aren’t left to foot the cleanup bill, or create new jobs in clean energy.
We are not helping Colstrip by sending a signal that Montana is a risky place to invest in renewable energy. Instead we are deterring this incredibly opportunity.
The bill will be heard in the House Energy, Technology, and Federal Relations Committee on Friday, April 7, 2017. Please call committee members at 1-888-369-5821 and ask them to vote NO on SB 338, and instead support clean, renewable energy investments in Montana. Voting NO on SB 338 is good for Montana and good for workers.