FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2021

Melissa Nootz
, Montana Environmental Information Center Campaigns and Advocacy Director, 406-443-2520 x006
Jeff Smith, 350 Montana Co-Chair, 406-880-8320,
Rob Byron, Vice Chair, Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate,
Emma Bode, Forward Montana Bozeman Field Manager, 307-413-8886,
David Merrill, Sierra Club Senior Organizing Representative,
Michelle Uberuaga, Moms Clean Air Force Montana Field Manager, 406.223.4714
Michael Hudson, NorthWestern Energy Ratepayer, 406.550.1130,
Becky Douglas, Business Owner, 406-546-1417,

MISSOULA, Mont. – Montanans from every corner of the state penned an open letter to NorthWestern Energy CEO Bob Rowe urging the company to move forward immediately towards a clean energy future. The letter, delivered to NorthWestern Energy’s Missoula office on Dec. 16, 2021, also urges the company to pay the penalties owed to low income and tribal assistance programs and to take action to protect all Montanans and future generations from the environmental and economic hardship that accompanies further investment in a fossil fuel future.

“We all know that decreasing greenhouse gas emissions is imperative,” Michael Hudson, a NorthWestern Energy Customer in Missoula, said. “Quite simply that’s what I want NorthWestern Energy to do: to dramatically and rapidly cut overall emissions. All their talk about ‘lowering carbon intensity’ means nothing when they are planning to increase overall CO2 emissions (and our rates). Given NorthWestern’s monopoly, we don’t have a choice about where we get our power. So we are asking NorthWestern to do better. For our kids. Now.”

The letter comes on the heels of NorthWestern Energy’s announcement that it plans to build a methane gas power plant in Laurel, Montana. The Laurel Generating Station would include 18 gas-fired reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE) using methane as a fuel source. Each year, this plant would emit 769,706 tons of climate-harming greenhouse gasses, equivalent to the annual emissions of 167,327 passenger vehicles.

“In this letter, nearly 1,000 customers told NorthWestern Energy where they want to see our power sourced now and into the future,” said Rob Byron, Vice Chair of Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate. “Normally, we would have shared this during NorthWestern’s Electricity Technical Advisory Committee (ETAC) meeting, but the December meeting was postponed. We hope NorthWestern Energy will listen and accept these comments nonetheless.”

“All Montana parents want for the New Year is a break from increasing prices and corporate practices that endanger their family’s future,” Alysha Goheen, NorthWestern ratepayer and mother of two, said. “We need affordable and clean energy now. NorthWestern Energy needs to do better.”

NorthWestern Energy is soliciting feedback in advance of releasing its 2022 Electricity Supply Resource Plan. According to the company, these plans serve to inform and support the resource management decisions made by the company to ensure investments are in the public interest and are a reliable and affordable supply of electricity for all NorthWestern Energy customers.

The letter includes signatures from individual members of the following organizations working in Montana, listed alphabetically: 350 Montana, Billings Citizens Climate Lobby, Families for a Livable Climate, Forward Montana, Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, Montana Interfaith Power and Light, and Sierra Club Montana.

The letter was also signed by the following organizations: 350 Montana, Billings Citizens Climate Lobby, Forward Montana, Moms Clean Air Force, Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, Montana Interfaith Power and Light, and Sierra Club Montana.


Additional links:
Videos and photos of event

Press event notice, including names of speakers

“The Cleanest Energy Is Also the Cheapest Energy,” a study from 350 Montana.

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