| Five Things

Montana Capitol Building

MEIC is once again providing a list of five or so things you can do each week to help protect the environment and fight for action on climate change. Important decisions on the environment move quickly and your help is needed as changes happen, especially in the legislature. We urge you to make a few telephone calls and send a few e-mails each week to help protect our rights to clean air, clean water and a healthy climate. You can always call (406) 444-4800 and leave a message for a legislator(s) and ask them to support or oppose specific legislation.

1. Oppose a Bill that Would Declare Climate Change Science Invalid

Representative Joe Read

HB 418 by Representative Joe Read (R-Ronan), would throw out scientific consensus surrounding climate change and establish a policy of miseducating students about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on our climate, economy, and social well-being. Further, it aims to eliminate any tax incentives intended to address climate change and inform public opinion on the topic. The bill would have a seriously harmful, multi-generational effect on how we address climate change in Montana. It would establish precedent that could ultimately take the steering wheel out of Montana’s hands in creating climate policy that best suits the state’s interests.

HB 418 had a hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee on Monday, February 18th and is awaiting executive action. Please contact members of the Committee and ask that they OPPOSE HB 418.

Members of the House Natural Resources Committee

Contact Members of the House Natural Resources Committee(contact no more than 10 per email to avoid spam filters)

2. Stop Unnecessary Tax Breaks for Coal Corporations

Representative Barry Usher

HB 403 by Representative Barry Usher (R-Billings), would indefinitely extend a tax break for underground coal mines and cost state and local governments $3.4 million annually.

HB 403 has a hearing in the House Tax Committee on Tuesday, February 19th at 9:00 AM. Please contact members of the Committee and ask that they OPPOSE HB 403.

Members of the House Tax Committee

Contact Members of the House Tax Committee (contact no more than 10 per email to avoid spam filters)

3. Protect the Public and the Environment from Dangerous Pipelines Such as Keystone

Representative Marvin Weatherwax Junior

HB 417 by Representative Marvin Weatherwax (D-Browning) would require that if significant new environmental issues or information is discovered for a project that is required to have a Major Facility Siting Act (MFSA) certificate, the MFSA certificate holder is found to have made false statements about the project in applying for the certificate, or if the MFSA certificate holder fails to maintain safety standards to comply with the certificate, the Department of Environmental Quality must suspend or revoke the certificate. This bill could apply to the Keystone XL pipeline, and force the company and state to take a harder look to prevent disastrous spills that could affect drinking and irrigation water for tens of thousands of people in Northeastern Montana.

HB 417 has a hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, February 20th at 3:00 PM. Please contact members of the Committee and ask that they SUPPORT HB 417.

Members of the House Natural Resources Committee

Contact Members of the House Natural Resources committee(contact no more than 10 per email to avoid spam filters)

4. Protect Consumers from Exorbitant Electric Bills

Representative Tom Woods

HB 314 by Representative Tom Woods (D-Bozeman) would require certain utilities to file general rate cases. Specifically, it would allow the Montana Public ServiceCommission (PSC) to initiate a “rate case” every three years. The bill does not require a rate case every three years, but it grants the PSC the option to do so. Rate cases are important because they make sure the rates utility customer pay are not higher than necessary. NorthWestern Energy is currently undergoing a rate case, however its previous rate case was 10 years ago. 

HB 314 had a hearing in the House Energy Committee on Monday, February 18th, and is awaiting executive action. Please contact members of the Committee and ask that they SUPPORT HB 314.

Members of the House House Energy Committee

Contact Members of the House Energy Committee(contact no more than 10 per email to avoid spam filters)

5. Oppose “Watering Down” Montana’s Renewable Energy Standard

HB 487 by Representative Derek Skees (R- Kalispell), H- Energy and
Telecommunications, Hearing 2/18/2019. Oppose. The Renewable Portfolio Standard was designed to result in new renewable energy. This bill would count 100+ year old hydroelectric dams under the RPS and undermine its purpose.

HB 487 had a hearing in the House Energy Committee on Monday, February 18th, and is awaiting executive action. Please contact members of the committee and ask that they OPPOSE HB 487.

Members of the House House Energy Committee

Contact Members of the House Energy Committee(contact no more than 10 per email to avoid spam filters)

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