Clean Power Plan

Solar panel installation.
Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2)

Update 06/08/15: In an earlier version of this story we misattributed a quote from Sen. Pat Connell to Rep Tom Steenberg. The story has been updated to correct this error.

A panel of state lawmakers is looking into a renewable-energy issue that died in the 2015 legislature.

The eight-member, bi-partisan panel will spend most of its time looking into “net metering”, the technology that lets electricity users get paid for contributing excess power generated by their solar panels or wind turbines.

Randy Stiles

As part of a plan to address climate change, a proposed 2014 EPA rule would reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants nationwide by an average of 30% by 2030. (Montana's proposed target is 21%.) The EPA's Clean Power Plan has directed states to develop strategies to reduce CO emissions.

Cheri Trusler

A meeting to talk about reducing Montana’s carbon dioxide emissions drew more than 150 people to a Missoula hotel last night.

Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality invited people to hear about and comment on their “white paper,” which shows five different strategies for the state to reduce Co2 emissions to meet a new federal target. That target for Montana is to reduce Co2 emissions by 21 percent by the year 2030.

Kudos to Governor Bullock and the MT DEQ for their work on carbon pollution at power plants.

Last week the federal Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal it is calling the Clean Power Plan.  If enacted, it would cut carbon pollution nationally by 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030.   Because Montana has already taken steps since 2005 to promote renewable energy and invest in energy efficiency, our state would only need to reduce our carbon pollution by 21 percent from existing levels.  Under this new proposal, Montana would be afforded enormous flexibility to craft regulations that fit our economy, our natural resources, and our power needs.