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Montana Legislators Want More Say On Clean Power Plan

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus
/
Montana Public Radio
Montana Capitol

Today, some Montana lawmakers said that the state legislature needs to get more involved in the fight against the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Butte Democratic Senator Jim Keane said the legislature should get off the sideline on an issue the governor and attorney general have already taken on.

“I think it is important for the legislature to say we have a say in this and a power in this.”

Sen. Jim Keane (D) SD-38.
Credit Montana Legislature
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Sen. Jim Keane (D) SD-38.

Keane is the chairman for Montana’s subcommittee on the Clean Power Plan. On Thursday the subcommittee approved a letter to be sent to the Energy and Telecommunications Committee and Environmental Quality Council.

The letter expressed concern over what is says is the Environmental Protection Agency stepping on Montana’s ability to regulate its economy. It asked for more information on how the plan might impact the state.

The Clean Power Plan calls for Montana to reduce it’s carbon dioxide emissions by 47 percent by 2030, more than any other state.

Subcommittee members voted 5-3 in support of the letter.

Representative Tom Steenberg, a Missoula Democrat, said it might be too soon for the legislature to get involved.

“Why are we making these comments now before we in fact have a plan that is evolving.”

Montana is among 27 states suing against the federal plan to substantially cut the carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel dependence in the coming decades.

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