Montana Interfaith Power & Light


Faith Voices and Advocacy

Communities of Faith have had a long history in advocating and organizing around climate and environmental justice issues. Perhaps one of the most well-known instances of faith communities fighting for a just environment is the 1982 PCB Landfill protest in Warren County, North Carolina. In this, a local church became the community center for organizing as the collective community aimed to stop the dumping of waste in their community. 

Though Montana might not be facing the exact environmental and justice  threats that Warren County had in 1982, we have strong connections to our communities, our state, and the landscape we love. This is why Montana IPL has begun following our Legislature, so that we might identify areas for action where faith individuals and communities might become involved and advocate on behalf of Creation, marginalized communities, and each other.

Montana IPL's Advocacy Priorities

Our main advocacy priorities circulate around legislation that will either enhance the impacts of climate change or create or exacerbate environmental justice issues in Montana.

Montana Legislature 2023

Because we are people of various faiths, spiritual traditions, and consciences, we are called to be active in our communities, to show compassion, and have the willingness to speak up against injustices. Whether through our various tradition’s call to care for creation and our neighbors – or through the observances of scientists and frontline communities, we have a moral responsibility to acknowledge and act on the realities that climate change poses in Montana and across the globe.

Being active participants in the political process is a responsibility we have as citizens. Below, you will find proposed bills for the Montana 2023 Legislative Session that Montana Interfaith Power & Light is following this year. You will also find resources for testifying and links for other important information.

Our Advocacy Committee suggests the following stances:

SUPPORT, but ask to lower charges Submit Comments Here

It would establish a tax on electric vehicle charging stations. 

SUPPORT, but ask for lower chargesSubmit Comments Here

An act providing an annual fee on electric vehicles registered in the state. Currently, the bill language would make it where electric vehicle owners could pay several hundred to over a thousand dollars in registration fees annually. 

OPPOSE – Submit Comments Here

Repeal State Energy Policy. Repealing the current policy would remove the policy’s goals and energy policy process, making for increased reliance upon fossil fuels and less transitional opportunities for clean energy. Repealing Montana’s Energy Policy could also have impacts on the Held vs. the State of Montana case set to go to trial this summer.

SUPPORT – Submit Comments Here

Allows zoning for tiny houses. 

We know that denser housing improves energy efficiency. Also, individuals living in large square-footage residences reduce efficiency, for example by heating lots of space they aren’t using. Multi-unit construction is probably best, but there are plenty of people in Montana who would be willing to live in a small home, but not in an apartment. 

OPPOSE – Submit Comments Here

Prevents local governments from creating building codes that require new construction to support future solar interconnect.

OPPOSE Submit Comments Here

Bill attempts to reinstate “pre-approval,” which our state supreme court previously struck down.

Pre-approval would allow NWE to avoid competitive bidding on new construction. They have already indicated that one way they would use such approval is to raise rates preemptively to fund future construction (as they want to do for the Laurel methane plant). Another likely use is to avoid having to compare the costs to ratepayers for new fossil plants to, for example, wind power, which is currently cheaper in MT. 

OPPOSESubmit Comments Here

It would form a committee to review a 2019 law and PSC rules around the resource planning process for new power plants. This is NWE trying to overturn recent existing legislation because it’s making it harder for them to add new natural gas power plants.

OPPOSESubmit Comments Here

Applies additional taxes to large renewable energy projects.

SUPPORT Submit Comments Here

Would require Northwestern Energy (NWE) to adopt energy conservation standards that reduce use at least 1%.

SUPPORT – Submit Comments Here

Redraw Public Service Commission districts after each census so that they reflect the current population.

This bill doesn’t impact climate directly. It impacts democratic pressure on the PSC, which is how we influence Northwestern Energy. Improved democracy as a goal in itself, but also, practically speaking, faster-growing areas are more urban, and thus more interested in renewable energy. 

OPPOSE  –  Submit Comment for SB 228; Submit Comment for SB 208

Both of these prevent local governments from restricting fossil fuel development. 208 also prevents the Department of Labor and Industry from restricting fossil fuels through building codes. 

OPPOSE Submit Comments Here

Prevents the PSC from setting power rates on cryptocurrency miners.

Testify in Support or Opposition to a Proposed Bill

To sign up to testify, follow these instructions:

1) Go to

2) Scroll down the main page and click the “Have Your Say” button above the 2023 Session Flow of Bills graphic OR go to

3) Click the blue “Request to Testify Remotely / Upload Testimony” button and follow the appropriate prompts.


Language directly from the Montana Legislature website
  • You will be able to select from the bills that are currently scheduled for hearing for the next 3 days
  • By 5PM the day before the hearing, you will be able to submit your written testimony, write a brief message, or request a Zoom link to testify in the bill hearing.
  • Fill out the form with the pertinent details and submit. You will receive an email confirmation.
  • You do not have to testify in order to submit written comments. Written Comments received by the deadline will be distributed to all committee members. However, if you request a Zoom link, we request that you write a brief message in the event of technical difficulties so that your name will be entered into the record.
  • Rules of decorum must be followed and the Presiding Officer will call on you when it is your turn to speak.  Follow the Zoom directions and raise your hand to let the Remote Committee Coordinator know when you want to speak.  We will not assume that because you requested the Zoom link that you automatically want to testify. There may be limits placed on how many people are allowed to testify remotely on each bill.

Bill Information Resources

  • Montana Legislature:
    • You can look up bill information, identify your legislators, and more with the tools available on the Legislature website.
  • Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC):
    • MEIC provides weekly updates during the Legislative Session and follows much of the happenings around environmental bills. They have a legislative tool that is useful to provide comments on bills, contact legislators, and bill updates.