Montana Audubon

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

Legislative Action Alert: April 9, 2019

It is down to the wire and we need your assistance with some final bills as they move through the last chamber and to the Governor’s desk. Calling the Governor’s office is an effective way to help us defeat these bad bills and get the good ones signed. You can contact Governor  Steve Bullock by calling: (406) 444-3111.

Thanks for the help as always!


Amy and Wyatt

A Blank Check for Fossil Fuels


SB 331, by Sen. Tom Richmond (R-Billings), would require NorthWestern Energy customers to write a blank check to the monopoly utility. This bad Senate bill allows NorthWestern to purchase an additional share of Colstrip while requiring captive customers to shoulder $75 million in improvement costs. At the same time it removes the ability of the Public Service Commission to set the terms of the new purchase.  In addition, SB 331 would still allow many of NorthWestern’s Colstrip-related costs to be passed through to customers: $700 million in remediation costs, an unknown sum for decommissioning, annual operations and maintenance costs of $11.4 million, and annual fuel costs of $21.6 million from 2017. SB 331 puts customers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars of costs with no PSC oversight.

No matter what company this benefits, it is a bad policy and sets a bad precedent. Don’t let NWE pick your pocket. Contact the Governor and legislators today!

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

Status: Hearing in House Energy, Technology, and Federal Relations

Montana Audubon Position – OPPOSE

Find your Legislator


House Federal Relations, Energy, and Telecommunications

Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings)

Rep. Christopher Pope (D-Bozeman)

Rep. Geraldine Custer (R-Forsyth)

Rep. Derek Skees (R-Kalispell)

Rep. Alan Doane (R-Bloomfield)

Rep. Neil Duram (R-Eureka)

Rep. Wylie Galt (R-Martinsdale)

Rep. Denise Hayman (D-Bozeman)

Rep. Andrea Olson (D-Missoula)

Rep. Alan Redfield (R-Livingston)

Rep. Sharon Steward Peregoy (D-Crow Agency)

Rep. Katie Sullivan (D-Missoula)


Moving Forward With Renewable Energy

SB 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. C-PACE 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 Executive Action

Montana Audubon Position – SUPPORT

Find your Legislator

Coal Leases

SB 329, introduced by Senator Tom Richmond (R-Billings), would allow for the extension of state coal leases. This bill 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. The bill also guts the Major Facility Siting Act by extending the leases 10 years without requiring a new operating permit.  A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Bullock in 2017.

Call and tell your legislators that the governor shouldn’t have to keep vetoing the same bills.

Bill: SB 329 — Allow for extension of state coal leases

Status: Hearing in House Natural Resources

Montana Audubon Position – OPPOSE


Find your Legislator


House Natural Resources:

Rep. Kerry White (R-Bozeman)

Rep. Theresa Manzella (R-Hamilton)

Rep. Willis Curdy (D-Missoula)

Rep. Bob Brown (R-Thompson Falls)

Rep. Zach Brown (D-Bozeman)

Rep. Robert Farris-Olson (D-Helena)

Rep. Ross Fitzgerald (R-Fairfield)

Rep. Steve Gundersen (R-Libby)

Rep. Emma Kerr-Carpenter (D-Billings)

Rep. Casey Knudsen (R-Malta)

Rep. Rhonda Knudsen (R-Culbertson)

Rep. Marilyn Marler (D-Missoula)

Rep. Dale Mortensen (R-Billings)

Rep. Mark Noland (R-Big Fork)

Rep. Marvin Weatherwax (D-Browning)

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