Make Montana’s Energy Clean
The Montana State Legislature’s interim Energy and Telecommunications Committee will adopt an energy “blueprint” this Thursday, July 29th to guide State policy on issues ranging from energy efficiency and renewable energy to development of fossil fuels.
Currently, the plan calls for increased renewable energy and improved energy efficiency measures.
“Montana has a real opportunity right now to jump start the economy by investing in clean, affordable, reliable renewable energy,” said Ross Keogh, a renewable energy business leader. “Montana’s wind development capacity is third in the nation, yet we’re 19th in actual production. Engaging the renewable energy industry means good paying jobs for hard working Montanas.”
However, the draft energy plan still increases our reliance on old fossil fuel technologies like crush and burn coal and natural gas.
“Montana is sitting on a goldmine fuel source that is largely untapped,” noted Sarah Cobler, Program Director for Montana Conservation Voters. “If we focus on clean renewable energy and energy efficiency, Montana will save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next ten years and develop new clean energy jobs. Fossil fuels like coal and gas are going to continue to get more expensive, and Montana must plan for that increased cost.”
Citizens still have an opportunity to give input on the state’s new energy policy. Interested parties may contact the Committee and suggest that an “energy blueprint” should direct Montana toward efficiency and clean, affordable renewable energy development.
Contact the State Energy Committee by emailing their staff, Sonja Nowakowski at email@example.com.
More about Montana’s Draft Energy Policy:
The Committee’s draft bill contains 29 policy goal statements. Here are a few examples of the good and bad policy statements in the draft:
Efficiency and conservation (the good):
- Denotes energy efficiency as the cornerstone of Montana’s energy policy,
- Encourages investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives to demonstrate that they are prioritizing and pursing all cost-effective energy efficiency on their systems,
- Advocates for a strong energy code for buildings that works in tandem with an enforcement system, and
- Expands energy efficiency incentives to promote and encourage consumer investment in energy efficiency.
Increasing fossil fuel use (the bad):
- Encourages more coal development,
- Promotes projects that convert coal to electricity, synthetic petroleum products, methane, natural gas, and chemical feedstocks, and
- Increases oil and gas exploration and development.
- The full text of the Committee’s draft bill -http://leg.mt.gov/css/Committees/interim/2009_2010/Energy_Telecommunications/default.asp