At the Montana Chapter, we know swift action is necessary to address the climate emergency that is already wreaking havoc around the world and here at home. We also believe the inevitable transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy - along with substantial reductions in energy use and general consumption - must be accomplished in a just, inclusive manner. Those who stand to lose the most and who will be impacted first and hardest must have space to be heard and lead in this transition. And as we shift our energy system, we ought to create a new paradigm of democratic, transparent energy production, distribution, and use that benefits all Montanans.
Our current climate and energy priorities include:
Proving Montana is ready for 100% clean renewable energy by supporting citizens around the state in voicing their demands for a just, clean, and affordable energy system and mobilizing local communities and institutions to commit to and implement a clean energy transition;
Working with the Beyond Coal Campaign to end Montana’s reliance on coal and provide cleanup and transition funds and other support to impacted communities; and
Following the lead of and supporting tribal and other frontline communities resisting fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL pipeline and seeking to create their own clean energy economy.
Montana is Ready for 100!
Ready for 100 means we are ready for 100% clean, affordable energy! This clean energy transition includes an emphasis on reduction through energy efficiency and conservation and implementing a just transition off of fossil fuels. Through this program, the Chapter is supporting local communities in creating a vision and plan for an equitable clean energy transition and securing commitments from major institutions to implement the transition locally. We have already seen significant progress!
Missoula City and County
The City of Missoula and Missoula Board of County Commissioners signed a joint resolution in April 2019 committing to take steps necessary to transition the City and the urban portion of the County to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2030. Missoula became the first Montana community, and the 117th nationwide to commit to such a transition. After passing the resolution, the City and County spoke out publicly about NorthWestern Energy’s rate case before the Public Service Commission and their Resource Procurement Planning process. They were standing up for the community’s clean and affordable energy interests, demanding the utility work with Missoula to provide renewable energy at fair prices.
In June 2020, the City of missoula and Missoula Board of County Commissioners signed a non-legally binding memorandum of understanding with NorthWestern Energy to create a plan to jointly pursue energy projects that also help the city and county make progress on their 100% clean electricity goals. You can read the Montana Chapter's response to the MOU in our op-ed in the Missoulian here. A draft of Missoula and NorthWestern Energy's joint plan, known as the implementation plan, has recently been released. You can read our official comment on the draft implementation plan here.
The City of Helena passed a similar resolution in February, 2020, becoming the second Montana city to make this commitment.
The City of Bozeman has set some relatively strong climate goals and has been drafting a Bozeman Climate Plan over the past year (2019-2020). The City of Bozeman is accepting comments on it's Draft Climate Plan until October 25, 2020. Click here for comment talking points on how the plan should be strengthened.
With more Montana communities considering the same move, we are bound to see a shift in how the state and utility approach fossil fuels and the inevitable transition away from them.
There is a place for you in this clean energy revolution!
Volunteer with a Ready for 100 team near you.
Moving Montana Beyond Coal
Moving Beyond Coal is an essential part of transitioning to a clean energy economy. The Beyond Coal Campaign has been at work in Montana for a long while, advocating for clean-up funds and transition support for communities like Colstrip that will be impacted when the Colstrip Power Plant closes, and to end coal mining in our state. The Chapter coordinates closely with the campaign to move our state forward to become fossil free in a way that benefits Montanans across Montana.
Beyond Pipelines, Beyond Oil and Gas
It is time to move Beyond Pipelines and Beyond all Oil and Gas, in order to protect waters, lands, wildlife, and human communities. We support indigenous and other local communities organizing to stop dangerous oil and gas pipelines, and all oil and gas development that threatens our health and our home.