This week in the Legislature - act now to protect clean water and air
Submitted by Sarah Cobler on April 11, 2011 - 2:32pm
Monday, April 11th, 2011
Please review the Conservation Hotlist for a summary of the bills up for hearing and floor action this week. Call and email your legislators. They need to know you value clean air, water and our abundant wildlife.
While there are several attacks on our clean air and water in play this week, I want to highlight efforts to ransack the Montana Environmental Policy Act (SB 233) and efforts to repeal energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits (SB 253).
First, a quick update and correction on SB 233 (Sen. Keane, D – Butte), the bill attacking the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The House voted for this terrible bill 74-25 on third reading today. We are disappointed all Republicans and 7 Democrats voted for a bill that means more pollution and less access to government. As you probably know by now, MEPA is the most important tool communities rely on to keep our air and water clean as we build power plants, string power lines and mine for coal, oil and gas.
Now, the bill must go back to the Senate, where they will consider amendments from the House Energy committee. We anticipate it will pass both chambers.
Our best hope of stopping SB 233, Sen. Keane’s attack on one of Montana’s bedrock environmental protections, is a veto by Governor Schweitzer.
Please, take a moment and ask Governor Schweitzer to veto SB 233. Include your name, address, and phone number in your email. You can also call him at 406.444.3111, where you will reach a member of his staff. Leave a message, asking him specifically to veto SB 233, and again, leaving your complete contact information.
Second, it is not too late to tell your Representative that you support energy conservation tax credits. SB 253 (Sen. Lake, R – Hamilton) eliminates energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits. In the last tax year, Montanans claimed $10 million in income tax credits for energy conservation, biodiesel, and clean renewable energy systems. These tax credits were used for things like insulation, new windows, and home power systems. We know saving energy is a public good – it makes perfect sense for the state to give incentives for folks to save energy, saving us all money in the long run. Why doesn’t the Legislature get it?
Your voice matters! Tell your Representative to vote no on SB 253, the bill that eliminates tax credits for energy efficiency and home renewable systems. Concerned citizens make a huge impact in the legislative process.
- To call your legislators, please dial 406. 444-4800. You will leave a message with legislative staff, who deliver your short, polite and concise message to the legislator(s) you’ve identified.
- Email legislators by using this online form.
Sarah Cobler, Program Director
Montana Conservation Voters
P.S. – Thanks to all of you who have contacted lawmakers this Session. Have these action alerts provided the educational services necessary for you to call, email or speak directly with your Legislators or the Governor? Tell us about it so we can continue to grow and improve.