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
Bills we are following during this session:
SUPPORT, but ask to lower charges – It would establish a tax on electric vehicle charging stations.
SUPPORT, but ask for lower charges – 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 – 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.
OPPOSE – 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.
OPPOSE – Applies additional taxes to large renewable energy projects.
SUPPORT – Would require Northwestern Energy (NWE) to adopt energy conservation standards that reduce use at least 1%.
Bill Information Resources
- Montana Legislature: https://leg.mt.gov/
- You can look up bill information, identify your legislators, and more with the tools available on the Legislature website.
- Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC): https://meic.org/our-work/legislature/
- 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.