MEIC regularly sends out a brief list of things you can do to help Montana’s environment. Please feel free to share these with others. Together, we can make a difference!
1. Find Out How YOU Can Participate in the Legislative Session
Did you miss our legislative training session last week? Or do you need a refresher regarding how to participate in the session? If so, we have you covered! You can click this link to watch MEIC’s Instructional Video for the 2021 Legislative Session. This video will give you an opportunity to learn more about how you can participate in the legislative session from the comfort of your own home.
We also know that this session is going to be different from all others. Therefore, if you have any questions after watching the video, please read this fact sheet or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific questions. We want you to help protect the things you love, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you are confused about how to participate during the session.
MEIC will also host member meetings by Zoom every Thursday from 5-5:30 pm to provide updates regarding the session. Please click this link Thursdays at 5:00 pm to participate.
2. Support the Carbon Tax and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan
The Montana Legislature will host a hearing for HB 150 by Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell (D-Helena) this Thursday at 8:30 am. HB 150 will require large sources of greenhouse gases (i.e., coal-fired power plants and natural gas plants) to pay $10 per ton of greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere. It will also require the state to develop and implement a modest plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 25% by 2035 and 50% by 2050. This bill will force large industrial polluters to incorporate climate risks caused by greenhouse gases into the cost of doing business. A carbon price helps level the playing field by making sure all fuel prices reflect a small portion of impacts. The revenue generated by HB 150 will go towards coal community transition, remediation of contaminated sites, economic development, infrastructure, tribal community assistance, and the state general fund.
The 2010s were the hottest decade on record, and last year tied for the hottest year on record. Burning fossil fuels causes these temperatures to rise by putting harmful levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A recent report issued by the Montana Climate Assessment highlights some of the dangers facing Montana if these temperatures continue to rise. Extreme climate events ranging from severe drought to more frequent and dangerous wildfires that increase smoke in the state will harm all of us. Super hurricanes, unprecedented infernos, massive increases in rain and snowfall, and more disasters have also been linked directly to climate change. Therefore, it is necessary for Montana to act NOW!
Please join MEIC to support HB 150 this Thursday at 8:30 am in House Taxation. You must register before noon on Wednesday, January 20th.
3. Contact Senators Tester and Daines: Ensure Clean Energy is Considered in Coronavirus Relief
President-elect Biden will be sworn in this Wednesday, which will mark a significant departure from the previous administration in its approach to clean energy. Significantly, President-elect Biden has proposed a sweeping COVID-19 relief package and aims to push for its passage in the days after his inauguration. Part of this package currently includes approximately $35 billion in low-interest loans, particularly for clean-energy investments.
This investment is critical not only for our recovery from COVID, but in order to keep building out our clean energy economy. Clean energy has been particularly hard-hit by the economic freefall from COVID, and so President-elect Biden’s plan is a good start to get the industry moving again. However, the package must pass the U.S. Senate and U.S. House before Biden can sign it. Please take a few minutes, and contact Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines, and Congressman Matt Rosendale, and respectfully ask that they support the inclusion of low-interest loans for clean energy investments in any economic stimulus plans associated with COVID.