Montana

MONTANA

Montana, the Big Sky State, is famous not only for its sprawling skies but also its wide-open, mountainous lands. Montana is the fourth largest state, at over 145 thousand square miles, but the forty-fourth most populous, with only just over one million residents. There are more cows in Montana than there are people and agriculture is an important part of the state’s economy. Almost 30% of that acreage is public lands — Montana is home to seven national forests and fifty-three state parks.

Unfortunately, Montana’s formidable natural landscape is facing the degradation of climate collapse. In the past century, Montana has warmed about two degrees Fahrenheit, and drought has followed that heat. As the soil dries up, trees have died and become kindling to wildfires, which are increasingly frequent. Montana faces one of the worst drought threats in the country, second only to Texas, to such an extent that the future of water availability in the state is of pressing concern, and, by extension, the viability of agricultural yields. Of all the western states, Montana has seen the largest percentage increase in the number of fires.

These changes have cascading effects on Montana’s natural ecosystems. For example, dying trees and dry soils increases the risk of forest insect outbreaks. Additionally, a warmer climate means less yearly snowfall and more snowmelt during winter. Both of these conditions reduce snowpack, which can shorten the ski season — a major source of revenue for Montana. A diminished snow pack can even allow for tree lines to move to higher altitudes, threatening alpine tundra ecosystems.

Diana Six, an entomologist at the U. of Montana, returned from a trip to Montana’s Glacial National Park, in July 2021 where the 97/98˚heat had decimated the ice. In despair, she said, “I don’t think people realize that climate change is not just a loss of ice. It’s all the stuff that’s dependent on it. The water is too warm for the fish. At some of the lower elevations, glacier lilies were shriveled, lupins didn’t even open. The flowers should extend for another three weeks but they’re already gone. Any insects or birds that depend upon them, like bees or hummingbirds are in trouble, their food is gone. Bird populations have just baked. There have been total losses of alot of baby birds this year. You see these ospreys and eagles sitting on top of the trees in their nests and those young, they just can’t take the heat.”

Montana has the largest estimated coal reserves in the country (about 30%) and produces 5% of the nation’s coal. It also accounts for about 40% of Montana’s electricity generation. About 7 out of 10 households use natural gas as their primary source of heating, but that gas comes mostly from outside the state. 40% of Montana’s electricity generation comes from hydroelectric power plants and about 9% from wind. Montana’s fast moving rivers and vast plains make the state an ideal place for hydroelectric and wind energy generation.

In 2007, The Montana Climate Change Action Committee agreed upon 54 policy recommendations meant to reduce Montana’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. However, by 2017, carbon dioxide emissions had risen 13% from 1990. In 2017, the Montana Institute on Ecosystems organized the collaborative interagency Montana Climate Assessment with the goal of driving knowledge-based policy. By 2019, Governor Steve Bullock created the Montana Climate Solutions Council, which delivered the first draft of their Montana Climate Solutions Plan in early 2020 and their final 72-page report in August 2020, outlining strategies to help reach Bullock’s stated goal of bringing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the electricity sector by 2035. The report also recommends the state reach net-zero emissions across the economy by 2050.

In July 2021, Gov. Greg Gianforte discontinued Montana’s membership in a coalition of two dozen states dedicated to fighting climate change. The U.S. Climate Alliance is a nonpartisan group committed to achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Democratic former Gov. Steve Bullock joined the alliance in 2019.

Asked if the governor has established any specific or measurable targets to reach climate goals, spokesperson Brooke Stroyke responded, “… you can’t set arbitrary, predictive limitations on innovation, and we can’t and shouldn’t put guardrails on innovation and ingenuity to address climate change.”

CURRENT NEWS

Supreme Court oral arguments set for July 10 in Held v. Montana case

By Blair Miller 05/23/24
The Montana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on July 10 in the state’s appeal of the Held v. Montana case, after which the court will decide whether the State of Montana is indeed violating…
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Red state coal towns still power the West Coast. We can’t just let them die

By Sammy Roth 04/16/24
In the early morning light, it’s easy to mistake the towering gray mounds for an odd-looking mountain range — pale and dull and devoid of life, some pine trees and shrublands in the foreground with…
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Montana proponents for public access, landowners, await implications of Wyoming lawsuit

By Amanda Eggert 03/04/24
The four hunters from Missouri had come prepared to Elk Mountain, Wyoming. Three of them had hunted in the area the previous year, finding its high elevation, fir-dotted slopes and aspen groves ideal for elk…
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Montana Court Restricts Use of Groundwater for New Homes

By Christopher Flavelle 02/16/24
A Montana judge has ruled that state officials have failed to impose adequate limits on the construction of new homes that rely on groundwater, a decision that could considerably curtail building in areas of the…
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As Groundwater Dwindles, Powerful Players Block Change

By Christopher Flavelle 11/24/23
From a small brick building in Garden City, Kan., 13 men manage the use of groundwater across five million acres in the southwest corner of the state, some of the most productive farmland in America…
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There Are Nearly 2,500 Climate Lawsuits. This Is the One to Watch.

By John Culhane 11/20/23
Climate change lawsuits have now joined the ranks of impact litigation. Just as claims against the tobacco industry led to a major transformation in the way cigarette sellers were required to do business, and claims…
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‘Much at stake’: Report highlights economic impact of climate change in Montana

By Isabel Hicks 11/17/23
When Carli Johnson returned to Gardiner after spending the summer of 2022 away from rafting, she found that much of the Yellowstone River she had grown familiar with had changed. The iconic rapid called Sleeping…
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Report warns of warmer climate’s impacts on Montana’s recreation, tourism economy

By Brett French 10/27/23
Failure to address climate change’s effects could cost Montana’s recreation and tourism economy more than 8,800 jobs and $263 million in labor earnings by 2040, a recently released report predicted.
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Grant funding available for water quality and climate change projects

By John Hooks and Ellis Juhlin 09/12/23
Montana environmental officials are making close to a million dollars in grants available for water quality projects across the state.
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Climate change causes another issue: an increased need for air conditioners

By Aaron Bolton 09/12/23
As the climate changes, places where home air conditioning used to be rare are now seeing a need for artificial cooling. It's a new expense that's especially hard for people in low-income housing.
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Company gets $2.6 million to relinquish oil lease on Montana land that’s sacred to Native Americans

By Matthew Brown 09/01/23
A Louisiana company will receive $2.6 million to relinquish the last remaining oil and gas lease on U.S. forest land near Montana’s Glacier National Park that’s sacred to Native Americans, government officials and attorneys involved…
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Montana climate change ruling a game changer for state activists

08/22/23
When a Montana judge sided with an alliance of student activists in their lawsuit charging state agencies had violated the students’ constitutional right to a clean and healthier environment, it could be because attorneys for…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Dillon solar energy farm ushers in clean energy era in Montana

10/04/23
In a field just outside of Dillon are nearly 200,000 solar panels which right now are collecting energy from the sun. Founders of this project say this is the seed to Montana’s clean, renewable energy…

Governor Gianforte Cuts Ribbon on New American-Made Energy Facility

10/03/23
Governor Greg Gianforte this morning cut the ribbon on Clēnera’s Apex Solar project, celebrating a new source of American-made energy in Montana.

Montana Ag Network: 35 communities receive funding for renewable energy

09/10/23
Through the Inflation Reduction Act, 35 rural Montana communities will receive funding for renewable energy.

$132,000 from Inflation Reduction Act to fund renewable energy development projects in Central Montana

09/04/23
As a result of the Inflation Reduction Act, $1,375,897 in United States Department of Agriculture funding has been secured for 35 renewable energy infrastructure projects across Montana. Over $130,000 of that money will fund projects…

USDA awards $1.3 million for renewable energy projects in rural Montana

08/30/23
Two solar arrays sit atop the wool mill’s roof. One heats the water that Stucky uses to clean and process wool, and the other harnesses power to run electricity and the handful of machines inside…

MISSOULIANS UNITED IN OPPOSITION TO NORTHWESTERN PLAN, 28% RATE INCREASE

08/23/23
(Missoula Current) Invoking a recent Montana climate court case, many western Montana residents are calling for NorthWestern Energy to redo its energy management proposal for the next 20 years.

New solar array begins supplying commercial energy to southwest Montana

08/23/23
A new utility-scale solar array near Dillon powered up and began supplying commercial energy this month. The new facility doubles Montana’s solar energy potential.

State utility regulators seek input on NorthWestern Energy’s energy plan

08/22/23
Montana’s utility regulators are gathering public input on the plans of the state’s largest energy supplier to meet customer demands.

Melville ranch adds solar, joins growing number in Montana taking advantage of federal grants

08/16/23
Andrew and Hilary Anderson take great pleasure in raising healthy animals and stewarding their land. As managers of the J Bar L Ranches, they juggle mending fences, feeding cattle, raising their family of four kids…

Renewable energy and health impacts highlighted in climate trial

06/17/23
Plaintiffs in a first-of-its-kind youth climate lawsuit sought to illustrate both the feasibility of transitioning Montana to fossil fuel-free energy sources and the physical, emotional and societal dangers of a “business as usual” approach to…

Expert Cites Montana’s ‘Incredible’ Renewable Energy Potential, Teenage Plaintiffs Mourn Inaction as Climate Trial Hits Halfway Point

06/17/23
Plaintiffs in a first-of-its kind youth climate lawsuit sought to illustrate both the feasibility of transitioning Montana to fossil fuel-free energy sources and the physical, emotional and societal dangers of a “business as usual” approach…

New solar project in southwestern Montana will double solar production in state

06/06/23
An 80-megawatt solar farm in southwest Montana should be coming online by month’s end. Boise-based Clēnera told Montana Lee Newspapers recently that the company’s 600-acre solar array is in its final phase before launching within…

The Battle for Clean Energy in Coal Country

06/03/23
Montana has a long history of making money by extracting and exporting its natural resources, namely coal. State politicians and Montana’s largest electricity utility company seem set on keeping it that way.

Big SAF in Big Sky Country: Montana Renewables begins SAF deliveries to Shell

05/13/23
The mention of Montana tends to conjure up visions of the episodes of Yellowstone, or roughnecks and cattle ranchers, chants of “drill, baby, drill” and an epic disdain for vegan cuisine. You wouldn’t likely have…

Missoula takes step toward clean energy

04/21/23
Missoula’s Public Works and Mobility Department completed a significant project toward city emissions and achieving Mayor Jordan Hess' climate goals.

Calumet Announces Achievement of Key Operational Milestones at Montana Renewables

04/19/23
Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: CLMT) (“Calumet”, “its”, “we”, “our”) announced that its Montana Renewables subsidiary has achieved design throughput capacity at its Great Falls, MT facility.

50 states of solar incentives: Montana

04/05/23
Montana is ranked 30th in the U.S. for renewable energy generation, with more than 1.5 GW of wind, solar and storage capacity reserves, while the state sees just shy of 15% of its electricity produced…

Calumet Reaches Key Application Milestone for Loan Guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy

03/27/23
Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: CLMT) announced today that its Montana Renewables subsidiary has been invited by the U.S. Department of Energy to submit a Part II Application for a $600 million loan guarantee…

How Montana stands to benefit if its pro-crypto mining bill is approved

03/24/23
The Montana Senate recently passed a bill designed to protect crypto miners operating within the state. The proposed law, which is currently making its way through the state's House of Representatives, seeks to protect both…

The Montana Legislature v. local climate action

03/24/23
A trio of Republican-sponsored bills seeking to limit local governments’ ability to steer their communities toward renewable energies are advancing through the Montana Legislature, despite pushback from two of the state’s largest and fastest-growing cities.

Lawmakers hear testimony on bill changing EV charging station laws

03/21/23
A bill that would change up laws on electric vehicle charging stations gets its first House hearing. Senate Bill 255 would update parts of Montana code to prepare for a growing electric vehicle industry. It…

Kalispell and Yellowstone County Businesses Now Eligible for Energy Efficiency Upgrades through C-PACE

03/13/23
The Montana Department of Commerce and the Montana Facility Finance Authority (MFFA) announced today that Kalispell and Yellowstone County have become the state’s newest Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancement (C-PACE) districts. Commercial building owners in…

BLM explores utility-scale solar in Montana

02/27/23
The Bureau of Land Management is exploring utility-scale solar development in Montana as part of a larger White House initiative to use federal land to fight climate change. The agency is seeking input on the…

Missoula renewable energy options remain opaque

02/13/23
North Americans consume six times as much energy as the average global consumer, according to Bradley Layton, CEO of Human Powered Future. It’s an unsustainable trajectory with an uncertain future.

Missoula Montana Airport lands electric ground equipment; EV numbers grow in Montana

02/07/23
The Missoula Montana Airport picked up four pieces of electric equipment this month courtesy of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and funding stemming from the state's share of the Volkswagon settlement.

Calumet Montana oil refinery in Great Falls to become top US producer of sustainable jet fuel

02/04/23
The Calumet Montana oil refinery in Great Falls has completed the multi-million dollar expansion project it began more than a year ago and is now poised to become the largest producer of sustainable aviation fuel…

Panel reviews nuclear power options in Montana

01/20/22
Small modular reactors supplying electricity in Montana could be part of the solution to the pending closure of the Colstrip coal-fueled power plant and give the facility new life, a nuclear power advocate told a…

DOE Awards $35 Million to Small Businesses Pursuing Clean Energy and Climate Solutions

01/06/22
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $35 million in funding for diverse small businesses to pursue scientific, clean energy, and climate solutions. The funding will support 158 projects across 29 states that will…

Montana’s largest wind farm underway near Miles City

12/26/21
On a recent winter afternoon the wind on this Eastern Montana plain was rising slowly like a tide, the cool dense air rolling in to replace what’s been warmed by daylight.

Montana’s slice of $555B in clean energy plan could expand green projects

12/09/21
There’s $555 billion for clean energy in the White House’s Build Back Better plan, and Montana energy stakeholders see opportunities for renewable development big and small.

Tribal Solar Projects Provide More Than Climate Solutions

09/16/21
In August 2021, two wildfires surrounded the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in central Montana. By Aug. 11, more than 175,000 acres were ablaze, and all residents of Lame Deer, the largest town on the reservation,…

NW Energy’s proposed gas-fired plant disappoints Montana cities seeking all-green power

07/14/21
Missoula, Bozeman and Helena had an understanding that Montana’s largest electricity provider would help their citizens go to 100% net renewable electricity by the end of this decade.

Montana cities have carbon-free goals, but it’s not easy being green

06/26/21
NorthWestern Energy and three of Montana’s largest cities had gotten their wires crossed.

Giant solar project proposed in south Butte, landowners concerned

By Michael Cast 05/23/21
On June 17, Madison River Equity LLC will seek a special use permit from the Butte-Silver Bow Zoning Board to install a 1,600-acre solar array, the Basin Creek Solar Project, on private ranchland in south…

PSC sets terms for small renewable energy projects

By Tom Lutey 02/28/21
The Montana Public Service Commission is starting to unwind renewable energy policies ruled unlawful by the state Supreme Court. Commissioners last week set 20-year contracts for renewable energy projects that qualify for favorable treatment under…

Preparing for Climate Change in Montana

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Montana is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

KEY RESOURCES

The Economic Impact of Climate Change in Montana

09/01/23
Climate change is real; it is largely human caused, and it continues to impact Montana. Using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment, the 4th National Climate Assessment, and the Montana Climate Assessment, among…

Previous Cases and Legal Actions in Montana

03/28/23
Youth petitioned the Montana Supreme Court for original jurisdiction asking the court to declare “(1) that the State of Montana holds the atmosphere in trust for the present and future citizens of the state of…

Montana State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/10/21
Montana, known as Big Sky Country, is the fourth-largest state and a significant supplier of energy to the rest of the nation. The state is rich in both fossil fuels and renewable resources. About three-tenths…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

Montana Climate Solutions Plan

09/21/20
Preliminary Recommendations and Key Questions

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Montana

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Montana experienced two wildfires and one drought. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Montana

07/31/20
Montana’s climate is already changing. The state has warmed two degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Montana recorded its all time wettest spring in 2014, which saw massive flooding and economic damage. The number of…

What Climate Change Means for Montana

04/04/20
Montana’s climate is changing. In the past century,

Climate change impacts in Montana

04/04/20
From Glacier National Park's rapidly disappearing glaciers to larger outbreaks of bark beetles in our forests and warmer water temperatures in our trout streams, the effects of a changing climate can be seen all around…

Climate Central’s analysis shows how much hotter parks are projected to get later this century.

04/04/20
The future of National Parks is going to be a lot hotter, click to explore our interactive >>

MORE NEWS

Climate Change Was on Trial in Montana

By David Gelles   08/15/23  
The state of Montana has a constitutional obligation to protect its residents from climate change. That was the stunning ruling from a judge who delivered a landmark decision on Monday. It compels Montana, a major…
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Young environmental activists prevail in first-of-its-kind climate change trial in Montana

By Amy Beth Hanson and Matthew Brown   08/15/23  
Young environmental activists scored what experts described as a ground-breaking legal victory Monday when a Montana judge said state agencies were violating their constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment by allowing fossil fuel…
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Judge Rules in Favor of Montana Youths in a Landmark Climate Case

By David Gelles and Mike Baker   08/14/23  
A group of young people in Montana won a landmark lawsuit on Monday when a judge ruled that the state’s failure to consider climate change when approving fossil fuel projects was unconstitutional. The decision in…
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Montana Kids Just Won Their Landmark Climate Lawsuit. Here’s Why.

By Dana Drugmand   08/14/23  
Sixteen young Montanans have accomplished something unprecedented in U.S. history – holding their government accountable for exacerbating the climate crisis and thereby violating their fundamental constitutional rights. In a ruling released August 14, 2023, district…
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Judge rules in favor of Montana youths in landmark climate decision

By Kate Selig   08/14/23  
In the first ruling of its kind nationwide, a Montana state court decided Monday in favor of young people who alleged the state violated their right to a “clean and healthful environment” by promoting the…
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The Montana youths behind a historic climate lawsuit, and the places they love

By Kate Selig   08/05/23  
It has been described as “landmark” litigation, “groundbreaking” and “first-of-its-kind.” But behind one of the nation’s most watched climate lawsuits — aimed at demonstrating that Montana’s promotion of fossil fuels violates the state’s constitution —…
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Young plaintiffs’ attorney closes Montana climate change trial with call for action

By Amy Beth Hanson And Matthew Brown   07/06/23  
An attorney for 16 young plaintiffs urged a judge Tuesday to strike down as unconstitutional a Montana law that prohibits state agencies from considering the environmental effects when it weighs permits allowing the release of…
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Why the Montana Climate Kids Can’t Lose

By Neel Dhanesha   06/23/23  
When Lander Busse spoke to the press after closing arguments in Held v. Montana, a trailblazing youth-led climate case that wrapped on Tuesday, he sounded optimistic.
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‘It’s time for my government to take action’: A conversation with a youth plaintiff in Held v. Montana

By Akielly Hu   06/14/23  
Hello, and welcome to Part 2 of our series on personal action in the face of climate change. (Check out Part 1 here, looking at why individual action is a fraught concept, and how individuals…
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Montana Youth Sue State Over Climate Change Policies

By Mary Whitfill Roeloffs   06/13/23  
The latest trial in a series of yet unsuccessful court actions continues Tuesday as more than a dozen young people in Montana – which has the largest coal reserves in the country – accuse their…
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‘My life and my home’: young people start to testify at historic US climate trial

By Dharna Noor   06/13/23  
The US’s first-ever trial in a constitutional climate lawsuit kicked off on Monday morning in a packed courtroom in Helena, Montana.
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Montana gas power plant can resume construction, judge rules

By Matthew Brown   06/10/23  
NorthWestern Energy will resume construction of a natural gas power plant along Montana’s Yellowstone River following a two-month delay, a company spokesperson said Friday, after a state judge revived a pollution permit for the project…
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Meeting planned with Montana congressional delegation on climate change

06/08/23  
A group of Montanans is headed to Washington D.C. to speak with leaders to make a national impact on climate change. A group of Montanans is headed to Washington D.C. to speak with leaders to…
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NorthWestern seeks PSC help in fighting tougher pollution laws

By Tom Lutey   06/08/23  
Worried about Colstrip Power Plant being able to pass tougher mercury and toxic air emissions standards, NorthWestern Energy is asking its state regulator to lobby the EPA against tighter pollution controls.
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Montana’s new anti-climate law may be the most aggressive in the nation

By Kristoffer Tigue   05/20/23  
Montana Republican lawmakers have passed legislation that bars state agencies from considering climate change when permitting large projects that require environmental reviews, including coal mines and power plants. Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill last…
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Why Montana is emerging as a must-watch climate battleground

By Scott Dance   05/19/23  
Montana is the land of big skies, glaciers and fly-fishing — where natural beauty is so important, the state imposed a constitutional right to a clean environment. But it also boasts the country’s largest recoverable…
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Why Montana is emerging as a must-watch climate battleground

By Scott Dance   05/19/23  
Montana is the land of big skies, glaciers and fly-fishing — where natural beauty is so important, the state imposed a constitutional right to a clean environment. But it also boasts the country’s largest recoverable…
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Montana’s new anti-climate law may be the most aggressive in the nation

By Kristoffer Tigue   05/16/23  
Montana Republican lawmakers have passed legislation that bars state agencies from considering climate change when permitting large projects that require environmental reviews, including coal mines and power plants. Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill last…
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Montana’s New Anti-Climate Law May Be the Most Aggressive in the Nation

By Kristoffer Tigue   05/16/23  
Montana Republican lawmakers have passed legislation that bars state agencies from considering climate change when permitting large projects that require environmental reviews, including coal mines and power plants. Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill last…
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Gianforte signs bill banning state agencies from analyzing climate impacts

By Amanda Eggert   05/12/23  
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed into law a bill that bars the state from considering climate impacts in its analysis of large projects such as coal mines and power plants.
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Montana Repeals State Energy Policy as Climate Trial Nears

By Dana Drugmand   04/03/23  
Montana has repealed its 30-year-old energy policy – including a 2011 amendment that prioritized fossil-fuel development. The move comes as a June trial date approaches for a youth-led climate lawsuit against the state.
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In Montana, it’s youth vs. the state in a landmark climate case

By David Gelles   03/24/23  
Sixteen young Montanans have sued their state, arguing that its support of fossil fuels violates the state Constitution....
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USDA to spend $197 million to prepare for wildfires brought on by climate change

By Dinah Voyles Pulver   03/20/23  
Federal officials announced $197 million in grants on Monday to help more than 100 communities and tribes across the nation become more resilient to wildfire.
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How environmental policy proposals are faring at the Legislature’s halfway mark

By Amanda Eggert   03/09/23  
As the 2023 Legislature enters its second half, Montana Free Press is assessing how bills falling under the environmental umbrella — broadly defined — fared during the first 45 days of the session. Here we…
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Central Valley Man Pleads Guilty to Nearly $9 Million Cow Manure Ponzi Scheme

02/27/23  
Ray Brewer, 66, of Porterville, and Sheridan, Montana, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft charges for running a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme where he purported to turn cow manure into green…
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Montana Sues Portland, Oregon Over Fossil Fuel Terminal Ban

By Olivia Rosane   02/17/23  
In 2016, the Portland, Oregon, city council unanimously approved a ban on either building new fossil fuel terminals within the city or expanding existing ones. At the time, Inside Climate News reported it was likely…
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Judge blocks coal mine expansion sought by Signal Peak

By Amanda Eggert   02/13/23  
Judge found ‘sufficiently serious’ errors in the Interior Department’s environmental review of a 7,100-acre expansion of the Bull Mountains Mine.
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Groups say plan isn’t helping fish species in Montana

01/31/23  
Environmentalists are suing U.S. wildlife officials in a bid to force federal protections for a rare, freshwater fish in Montana’s upper Missouri River Basin that’s suffered due to climate change and other pressures.
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Advocates rally for climate action at Montana Capitol

By Tom Kuglin   01/20/23  
Under banners saying “Protect Our Home,” climate change advocates rallied at the state Capitol Friday, blasting inaction on climate and demanding politicians move on solutions.
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NorthWestern Energy to increase ownership share in Colstrip

By Eric Dietrich and Amanda Eggert   01/17/23  
The utility company says the deal will likely keep the aging coal plant operational through the end of the decade.
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Bill to abolish Montana energy policy sparks debate about climate, separation of powers

By Keila Szpaller   01/13/23  
Rep. Steve Gunderson proposed a bill to eliminate Montana's energy policy, which sparked debate about climate change, separation of powers....
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How Montana Took a Hard Right Turn Toward Christian Nationalism

By Abe Streep   01/11/23  
The fifth season of the hit show “Yellowstone” premiered on the Sunday after the midterm elections, with Kevin Costner’s character, the rancher John Dutton, assuming Montana’s governorship. “This was never my plan,” he says, wearing…
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After a record number of hot summer days, Montana needs air conditioning

By Aaron Bolton   09/09/22  
Montana has seen a record number of hot days this summer. More are forecasted as the climate changes. The state is trying to adapt with some help from the Inflation Reduction Act.
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Youth-Led Climate Change Lawsuits Are a Tactic to Hold Governments Responsible

By Ray Levy Uyeda   07/25/22  
Rikki Held grew up on a 7,000-acre ranch in Broadus, Montana, where she learned the family business of ranching, hunted deer and elk, and played in the river that cut through the land. But drought,…
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Three-quarters of Montana farmers, ranchers anxious about climate change, survey finds

By YCC Team   07/18/22  
Drought and extreme heat can damage crops. Heavy rain can flood fields and cause fungal growth. A late cold snap can kill young plants. Paul Lachapelle of Montana State University says the growing risks and…
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Yellowstone to partly reopen after historic flooding

By Annabelle Timsit   06/19/22  
Parts of Yellowstone will reopen to visitors Wednesday morning, after dramatic floods forced the national park to shut down last week. Entrances to the south loop of the park will reopen to a limited number…
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In maps, photos and videos, see the full force of Yellowstone’s floods

By N. Kirkpatrick, Jason Samenow, Dylan Moriarty and Laris Karklis   06/18/22  
Every summer, millions flock to Yellowstone National Park and wait for the reliable eruption of the geyser Old Faithful. This week, visitors were caught in a unpredictable and massive explosion of water that coursed through…
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Floods leave Yellowstone landscape ‘dramatically changed’

By Matthew Brown and Lindsay Whitehurst   06/15/22  
Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week moved through Montana’s largest city on Wednesday, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant.
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This week’s floods have ‘dramatically changed’ Yellowstone’s landscape, perhaps forever

By Matthew Brown & Others   06/15/22  
Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week moved through Montana’s largest city on Wednesday, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant.
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Dramatic video shows large house collapsing into Yellowstone River amid historic floods

06/14/22  
A visitor from Indiana captured dramatic video of a waterfront house in Montana being swept away in a river as a torrent of rain combined with a rapidly melting snowpack caused a deluge of flooding…
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Ryan Zinke makes his ‘energy dominance’ pitch to Montanans

By Maxine Joselow and Others   05/19/22  
Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and House member, is vying to represent Montana’s newly created 1st District in the western part of the state. He's running against four other Republicans in the primary election scheduled…
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Fossil fuels v our future: young Montanans wage historic climate fight

By Ray Levy Uyeda   04/13/22  
When Grace Gibson-Snyder was 13, she launched an independent project in her home town of Missoula, Montana, to encourage restaurants not to use single-use plastic containers. She found that youth activism enabled her to press…
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NorthWestern announces plans to be net-zero on carbon emissions by 2050

By Tom Lutey   03/03/22  
In a plan that allows its largest carbon-emitting asset in Montana to continue burning through 2044, NorthWestern Energy announced Thursday it was committed to net-zero emissions by 2050.
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UM joins national project to support climate resilience in Indian country

By UM News Service   01/24/22  
The University of Montana is partnering in a new program that provides science-based climate information and services to Native American ranchers and farmers in the Intermountain West.
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Climate change is helping invasive species take over trout habitats in Montana

By Erin Blakemore   01/09/22  
If you grab your fishing pole and head to a river in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, you may easily make a catch. But thanks to human-caused climate change, that fish is more likely to be a…
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Prairies on Fire in Montana Amid a Record December Heat Wave

By Jim Robbins   12/02/21  
Record-high temperatures and powerful winds have sparked a series of unusual December prairie fires in Montana, one of a series of late-season fires across the country amid an unusually warm approach to the winter season.
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Montana wildfire update for December 01, 2021

By Jess Sheldahl, Kay Erickson, Edward O'Brien   12/02/21  
The town of Denton in Fergus County in central Montana is under an evacuation order because of a fast-moving wildfire.
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Baucus says he’s hopeful about progress on climate change

By Corin Cates-Carney   10/29/21  
During a conversation about climate change held Thursday night at the University of Montana between former Vice President Al Gore and former Montana U.S. Senator Max Baucus, both men expressed hope.
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Report: Impacts of climate change include drought

By Kit Tilly and Hillery Dailey   10/24/21  
We in the West are witness to the impacts of climate change. Montana and other Western states are now in unprecedented drought conditions.The National Integrated Drought Information System lists Ravalli County as being in severe…
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How wildfire ‘burn scars’ threaten the West’s drinking water

By Sara Reardon   09/28/21  
Colorado saw its worst fire season last year, with the three largest fires in state history and more than 600,000 acres burned. But some of the effects didn’t appear until this July, when heavy rain…
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