1. Stop NorthWestern from Pick-Pocketing Montana Consumers

Don’t be fooled. SB 331, by Sen. Tom Richmond (R-Billings), may be a different bill number than Richmond’s recently defeated SB 278, but it’s exactly the same concept. This bill gives NorthWestern Energy significant control over the amount of money its customers would be forced to pay for the Colstrip power plant. SB 331 bypasses the normal oversight of the Montana Public Service Commission and allows NorthWestern to pass on to customers all remediation and decommissioning costs for its existing ownership shares and any new interest in the Colstrip plant, along with $40 million in costs for whatever NorthWestern desires for an increased ownership share of the plant.

The bill will be heard in the Senate Energy Committee on Tuesday, March 19th.

What You Can Do:

2. Prevent Extension of Otter Creek Coal Mine Lease and Potential Revenue Losses

SB 329, by Sen. Tom Richmond (R-Billings), would require the state to extend the lease for the Otter Creek coal mine for another decade. The extension would deprive the state of the revenue that a new lease would require and maintain the option for Arch Coal to develop the massive Otter Creek coal track beyond 2030. A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Bullock in 2017.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, March 20th at 3:00 PM.

What You Can Do:

3. Join us for Conservation Lobby Day!

Join us this Friday, March 22nd at 9:30 AM for the second Conservation Lobby Day.

We’ll start the day with a lobbying training session from 9:30 to 11:30 AM at the Lewis and Clark Public Library in Downtown Helena. You’ll receive an exclusive training from policy experts from a wide range of conservation fields.

The training will consist of a crash course in lobbying and a briefing on current priority issues. Then, we’ll head to the Capitol to meet with legislators and participate in committee hearings from 12:00 to 5:00 PM (or whenever you need to leave).

Your one-on-one conversations with legislators can make the difference on what bills pass and do not pass, so please consider attending!

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