Montana Audubon

Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.

Legislative Action Alert: March 19, 2019

This week is our citizen lobby day and you can make a big difference by joining us…tell your friends too! The lobby day will be happening on March 22nd in Helena. Please RSVP by emailing us at: [email protected] or [email protected]  If you can’t make the event, please call or email your legislator and ask them to vote for conservation! (specifics below)

We hope to see you there!

Amy & Wyatt


Wolf “bounty” Bill Still Alive

House Bill 279 was introduced into the House Fish, Wildlife & Parks Committee on January 31st. This bill would allow licensed trappers to trap wolves and then be reimbursed with private funds for costs incurred during harvest. This bill amounts to a bounty on wolves, commercializes wildlife, and won’t solve elk or wolf management challenges. Wolves are an ecologically important native species with a liberal, well-regulated harvest season. Reimbursing trappers for costs incurred is a slippery slope and has no place in Montana, a state with sound wildlife management policies already in place.

Let the Senate Fish and Game Committee know that you will not stand for the commercialization of public wildlife resources. Please call your nearest representative or the committee chair on the Senate Fish and Game Committee, and tell them to VOTE NO on HB 279.

Bill: House Bill 279- Reimburse trappers for cost incurred trapping wolves

Status: Hearing in Senate Fish and Game March 21st

Montana Audubon Position – OPPOSE

Find your Legislator

Senate Fish & Game

Sen. Jennifer Fielder (R-Thompson Falls)

Sen. Steve Hinebauch (R-Wibaux)

Sen. Jill Cohenour (D-East Helena)

Sen. Jason Ellsworth (R-Hamilton)

Sen. Pat Flowers (D-Belgrade)

Sen. David Howard (R-Park City)

Sen. Tom Jacobson (D-Great Falls)

Sen. Mike Lang (R-Malta)

Sen. Edie McClafferty (D-Butte)

Sen. Cary Smith (R-Billings)


A Blank Check for NorthWestern Energy

Senate Bill 331, by Sen. Tom Richmond (R-Billings), would require NorthWestern Energy customers to write a blank check to the monopoly utility. This bill replaces the highly-controversial SB 278.

Both bills are blatent attempts to require the Public Service Commission (PSC) to pass through costs to NorthWestern customers. These would include NorthWestern’s Colstrip-related remediation and decommissioning costs (DEQ projects at least $700 million will be necessary for remediation), $300 million in acquisition costs, plus an 8.25% rate of return for its existing 220 megawatt share of the plant. Those costs would be set in rates for 30 years, even if the plant is no longer working.

The bill also allows NorthWestern to purchase up to 150 megawatts more of the plant, then pass through $40 million worth of operations costs for any future increased ownership in the plant to its customers. After the first $40 million in unreviewed costs, the PSC would at least have an opportunity to review operations costs for prudence–this would not include remediation and decommissioning.

SB 331 is a slightly scaled-back version of a terrible bill. Sen. Customers will be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars of costs with no PSC oversight.

Contact the Governor and legislators today!

Bill: Senate Bill 331 – Establish the Montana Energy Security Act

Status: Hearing in Senate Energy and Telecommunications 3/19

Montana Audubon Position – OPPOSE

Find your Legislator

 

Senate Energy and Telecommunications

Sen. Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip)

Sen. Jason Small (R-Busby)

Sen. Mary McNally (D-Billings)

Sen. Dick Barrett (D-Missoula)

Sen. Mike Cuffe (R-Eureka)

Sen. Terry Gauthier (R-Helena)

Sen. Doug Kary (R-Billings)

Sen. Sue Malek (D-Missoula)

Sen. Mike Phillips (D-Bozeman)

Sen. Keith Regier (R-Kalispell)

Sen. Tom Richmond (R-Billings)

Sen. Russel Tempel (R-Chester)

Sen. Gene Vuckovich (D-Anaconda)


Renewable Energy Improvements

Senate Bill 245, introduced by Senator Mary McNally (D-Billings), would provide business owners and agricultural producers access to 100% upfront financing to make energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to their properties. Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a financing tool that allows business owners and agriculture producers to start saving money on their energy bills from day one. This bill is good for Montana businesses, promotes energy independence, and immediately addresses the impacts of climate change. C-PACE financing will be repaid through long-term loans (up to 20 years) through an assessment on the property.

Please call your legislator and let them know that they should vote for SB 245 and support business owners and agricultural producers.

Bill: SB 245- Establish commercial property assessed clean energy program

Status: Waiting for Committee to take Executive Action

Montana Audubon Position – SUPPORT

Find your Legislator

 

Senate Energy and Telecommunications

Sen. Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip)

Sen. Jason Small (R-Busby)

Sen. Mary McNally (D-Billings)

Sen. Dick Barrett (D-Missoula)

Sen. Mike Cuffe (R-Eureka)

Sen. Terry Gauthier (R-Helena)

Sen. Doug Kary (R-Billings)

Sen. Sue Malek (D-Missoula)

Sen. Mike Phillips (D-Bozeman)

Sen. Keith Regier (R-Kalispell)

Sen. Tom Richmond (R-Billings)

Sen. Russel Tempel (R-Chester)

Sen. Gene Vuckovich (D-Anaconda)

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