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

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.
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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 —…
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

‘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…
Read more

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…
Read more

‘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.
Read more

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

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

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

This Governor Withdrew From A Climate Pact. Days Later, He’s Pleading For Help With Drought.

By Chris D' Angelo   07/13/21  
Montana’s Republican governor has made it clear his state won’t be bothered to help in the fight against climate change. But he still wants federal assistance to deal with the climate impacts at Montana’s door.
Read more

Report: Climate Change at Yellowstone Threatens People, Wildlife

By Matt Alderton   07/06/21  
“Beautiful.” “Gorgeous.” “Breathtaking.” “Magnificent.” These are just a few of the words that tourists often use to describe the splendor that is the Greater Yellowstone Area, comprising approximately 22 million acres of wilderness in northwestern…
Read more

Justices deny Wyoming, Montana coal suit against Washington

By Mead Gruver   06/29/21  
The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday that it won’t allow Wyoming and Montana to sue Washington state for denying a key permit to build a coal export dock that would have sent coal to Asia.…
Read more

An eighth of the US population is sweltering under a record-breaking heat dome. Climate change is making it worse

By Pedram Javaheri , Judson Jones and Hannah Gard   06/16/21  
With upwards of 300 record-high temperatures in jeopardy this week, more than an eighth of the US population -- over 40 million people -- are on alert across the western US for a long-lasting, potentially lethal heat…
Read more

Montana and 16 other states want in on Youth Climate Change lawsuit

By Amanda Eggert   06/15/21  
Montana and 16 other states are asking to intervene in the Youth Climate Change lawsuit, an attempt by 21 youth activists to address climate change by compelling the federal government to transition away from fossil…
Read more

Montana State University faculty and students push for stronger climate action

By Liz Weber   06/11/21  
A decade has passed since Montana State University addressed its plan to combat climate change, despite a plan to review and update progress regularly.
Read more

Montana judge denies Biden administration’s request to delay coal leasing lawsuit

By Carson Mccullough   06/07/21  
A federal judge in Montana rebuffed efforts by the Biden administration to pause a lawsuit by several states, tribes and environmental groups seeking to end coal mining lease sales on federal land.
Read more

Name Change Refocuses MT Org on Wild Places of All Kinds

By Eric Tegethoff   06/04/21  
One of the country's oldest grassroots conservation groups is changing its name, and also broadening its mission.
Read more

How Returning Lands to Native Tribes Is Helping Protect Nature

By Jim Robbins   06/03/21  
In 1908 the U.S. government seized some 18,000 acres of land from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to create the National Bison Range in the heart of their reservation in the mountain-ringed Mission Valley…
Read more

Climate activists challenge pre-approval of NorthWestern Energy gas plant

By Laura Lundquist   06/02/21  
Armed with a new report comparing various energy scenarios, Missoula-based 350 Montana has filed two complaints challenging a Montana Public Service Commission process that gives NorthWestern Energy the leeway to invest in resources that may…
Read more

The Cleanest Energy Is Also the Cheapest Energy

05/14/21  
That’s the headline of a new study, “Affordable and Reliable Decarbonization Pathways for Montana,” commissioned by 350 Montana. Blessed as we are with world-class hydroelectric, wind, and solar generation, Montana can retire its Colstrip coal…
Read more

Editorial: Attempts to prop up coal will be futile

By the Chronicle Editorial Board   05/07/21  
Montana and Wyoming find themselves increasingly isolated in what will ultimately be futile attempts to prop up a declining coal industry that seems doomed to go down in a flurry of ill-advised legislation and expensive…
Read more

Sustainable Missoula: The next generation of environmental problem solvers

By Cassie Sevigny   03/26/21  
I marched through snow up to my shins as I followed a handful of high school students, their teacher, Elana Selinger, along with Deb Fassnacht and Aissa Wise from the Watershed Education Network (WEN). McCauley…
Read more

Withholding energy assistance

By Jonathan Hettinger   03/26/21  
A bill that seeks to reverse $2.5 million in potential penalties on NorthWestern Energy for failing to help communities develop renewable energy projects is drawing criticism from environmental and tribal groups across Montana.
Read more

Montana joins suit to undo Biden pause on oil and gas lease sales

By Kevin McGill   03/24/21  
Montana is among 13 states that sued the Biden administration Wednesday to end a suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water and to reschedule canceled sales of leases in the…
Read more

Coal cuts: Aging power plants, cheap natural gas shutting off Montana coal

By Tom Lutey   03/21/21  
It wasn’t the first time a Montana coal mine had gone bankrupt, but Decker Coal’s reason for calling it quits had never been stated so plainly.
Read more

Coal cuts: Aging power plants, cheap natural gas shutting off Montana coal

By Tom Lutey   03/21/21  
It wasn’t the first time a Montana coal mine had gone bankrupt, but Decker Coal’s reason for calling it quits had never been stated so plainly.
Read more

Texas, Montana Lead 21 GOP-Run States In Suing Biden Admin Over Keystone XL Suspension

By Siladitya Ray   03/18/21  
Texas and Montana led 19 other Republican-governed states in suing President Joe Biden and his administration over his decision to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, in the latest legal challenge mounted…
Read more

Missoula business goes all in on solar array as renewable energy future grows

By Martin Kidston   03/16/21  
While the city and county of Missoula take steps to achieve 100% clean electricity over the next decade, members of the private sector have set their own goals, and they’re willing to make the investment…
Read more

The giving trees

By Judy Fahys   03/12/21  
For Aaron Peterson, exploring the Yaak River and wandering the forests surrounding it is no more complicated than clipping on cross-country skis outside his front door.
Read more

Missoula County adopts energy efficient building policy, set to pursue green tariff

By Martin Kidston   03/12/21  
Keeping focus on its clean electricity goals and carbon reduction, Missoula County is moving forward with a number of new initiatives, from pursuing Montana’s first green tariff to a new policy on energy efficient buildings.
Read more

Nuclear on the radar: Part I

By Amanda Eggert   03/02/21  
Nuclear energy is having a moment in the Montana Legislature. With uncertainty surrounding the future of the state’s coal-fired power plants and the Biden administration’s aggressive targets for reducing fossil-fuel emissions to combat climate change,…
Read more

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…
Read more

Montana cities working with NorthWestern Energy on clean power options

By David Erickson   02/11/21  
In an effort to reduce the climate-changing harm caused by fossil fuel pollution, a new plan from four Montana governments and others would allow NorthWestern Energy customers in Montana to eventually have the option to…
Read more

Conservation groups challenge DEQ approval of Keystone XL construction

By Amanda Eggert   01/07/21  
The Northern Plains Resource Council and Sierra Club have appealed a decision by the state of Montana that’s required in order for Keystone XL construction to move forward on its 295-mile route through eastern Montana.
Read more

EGEB: Montana gets its largest wind farm – by a shrinking coal plant

By Michelle Lewis   01/05/21  
Montana gets its largest wind farm as the state embraces renewables and moves away from coal. EV charging giant EVBox doubles its installed electric charge ports globally in just one year to 200,000.
Read more

Once-in-a-Decade Forest Plan Sets Sights On Wildfire, Disease And The Economy

By Nick Mott   01/04/21  
Before leaving office, Gov. Bullock finalized a document that will guide forestry and logging projects in Montana for the next decade. Montana Public Radio’s Nick Mott has more from just south of Livingston.
Read more

Sustainable Missoula: Rekindling our commitment to a brighter future

By Winona Bateman   01/04/21  
The Winter Solstice has always been an important milestone in my family led by my grandfather’s love of the natural world. More than ever, this year we welcomed the return of the light. Yet, as…
Read more

Missoula’s deadline for carbon neutrality looms as climate change presses in

By Jordan Unger   12/31/20  
Missoula put forth an ambitious plan to address climate change in 2013, setting the goal of carbon neutrality across the city by 2025. While progress has been made toward that goal, additional resources and effort…
Read more

Capturing 40 years of climate change for an endangered Montana prairie

12/23/20  
Over 40 years of monitoring, an endangered bunchgrass prairie became hotter, drier and more susceptible to fire annually -- but dramatic seasonal changes (not annual climate trends) seem to be driving the biggest changes in…
Read more

Montana priorities included in must-pass congressional bills

By Tom Lutey   12/21/20  
Several Montana-specific pieces of legislation are included in must-pass bills being voted on by Congress in the next 24 hours. A long-awaited $1.9 billion settlement for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, plus a return…
Read more

Bozeman, Other Local Governments Lead Clean Energy Effort

By Associated Press   12/21/20  
Officials from three cities in Montana have united in pushing for more renewable energy sources in the state. The local governments in Bozeman, Missoula and Helena started an effort to establish a subscriber-based green tariff…
Read more

‘Leadership is coming from the cities:’ Bozeman among local governments leading push for clean energy in Montana

By Nora Shelly   12/20/20  
Three of Montana’s major cities are a united front in pushing for more renewable energy sources in the state. Bozeman, Missoula and Helena are part of an effort to establish a subscriber-based green tariff program…
Read more

Study: More homes are burning in fire-prone areas of Montana

By Laura Lundquis   12/18/20  
As people build more houses in Montana’s wildland-urban interface, more homes have burned and will burn in wildfires unless homeowners take precautions.  
Read more

Broadview wind and solar farm gets new owner

By Tom Lutey   12/17/20  
A large wind and solar farm east of Broadview is under new ownership and slated for operation in two years. Houston-based Broad Reach Power announced its purchase of the Buffalo Trail Wind and Solar farm…
Read more

The Big Thaw

By Daniel Glick   12/16/20  
So far, the results have been positively chilling. When President Taft created Glacier National Park in 1910, it was home to an estimated 150 glaciers. Since then the number has decreased to fewer than 30,…
Read more

Opinion: Montana health professionals urge air standards for particulate

12/15/20  
We are Montana nurses and doctors who are among the many U.S. health professionals who testified or commented in opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule to maintain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards…
Read more

A snowblind eye

By Johnathan Hettinger   12/14/20  
Two new lawsuits argue that U.S. wolverines face imminent threats in the face of a warming climate, reduced snowpack and population isolation, and that the federal government downplayed those threats in its October decision to…
Read more

Montgomery County Executive Elrich Releases Draft Climate Action Plan That Lays Path to Meet County’s Climate Goals

12/14/20  
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has released the Draft Climate Action Plan for public review. The Climate Action Plan is the County’s strategic plan to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2027…
Read more

Montana Environmental Regulators Approve Selenium Standards For Lake Koocanusa And Kootenai River

By Aaron Bolton   12/11/20  
State environmental regulators Friday approved new standards for a heavy metal in Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River. Montana Board of Environmental Review Chair Chris Deveny says the proposed regulations were approved in a five…
Read more

Court Ends Attempt to Mine for Gold Near Yellowstone

By Olivia Rosane   12/11/20  
A ruling issued by the Montana Supreme Court Wednesday has effectively squashed a plan by Canadian company Lucky Minerals to search for gold in the mountains above Paradise Valley, the northern entryway to the iconic…
Read more

Sustainable Missoula: Finding the silver lining in a difficult year

By Amy Cilimburg and Abby Huseth   12/11/20  
Every December, one of Climate Smart Missoula’s favorite rituals is gathering with our community to celebrate another year of local climate momentum and to honor folks who have made special contributions to this collective effort,…
Read more

$500 million Rapelje wind farm wins lawsuit against PSC

By Tom Lutey   12/09/20  
Another renewable energy project has won a lawsuit against Montana’s Public Service Commission. District Judge Kathy Seeley of Helena threw out most of the commission's work on Caithness Beaver Creek, a $500 million wind and…
Read more

Montanans’ health interwoven with climate change

By Bella Butler   12/09/20  
Air thick with wildfire smoke, devastating droughts and other extreme weather events will continue to strike Montana, says a collaborative report composed by health professionals, researchers and professors from across the state. Moving forward, the…
Read more

MSU Report Links Climate Change To Physical, Mental Health Impacts

By Kayla Desroches   12/09/20  
Montana State University released a report Tuesday warning that rising temperatures, wildfires and other effects of climate change could increase the likelihood of lung disease in vulnerable populations, exacerbate existing conditions like asthma and hurt…
Read more

New report outlines how climate change impacts health in Montana

From MSU News Service   12/08/20  
Climate change is already affecting the health of Montanans, a situation that will likely worsen in the coming years, according to a new report published by a group of Montana University System scientists and Montana…
Read more

A Siege of 80 Large, Uncontained Wildfires Sweeps the Hot, Dry West

By Michael Kodas   09/09/20  
"The incidence of these extreme events, which are basically outliers, will become more common," said Robert Gray, a forest fire ecologist in British Columbia.
Read more

Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…
Read more

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cancel the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

07/05/20  
Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) and Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) today announced the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (“ACP”) due to ongoing delays and increasing cost uncertainty which threaten the economic viability of the project.
Read more

Missoula adopts climate change plan

By Shannon MacNeil   05/20/20  
Missoula city and county say now, more than ever, they need to take action against climate change. Missoula City Council and the county commissioners signed off of the “Climate Ready Missoula Plan.”  
Read more