Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

Groups call on state regulators to add climate change into the decision-making process

More than 40 interest groups and Montana businesses are petitioning the state’s utility regulators to consider climate change when making decisions. They filed the request Wednesday.

Environmental organizations, breweries, ski resorts, college students, doctors and more filed the petition. The groups are asking Montana’s Public Service Commission to measure the social costs of greenhouse gas and climate impacts as part of their regulatory work.

Michael Hudson, with one of the environmental groups, says the agency has a large role to play in Montana’s emissions as the regulators of companies that use coal and other fossil fuels to generate power.

"It is just common sense that they consider climate in their decisions," Hudson says.

Under state law, the public can petition any state agency with a request to adopt new rules or change existing ones.

A lawyer for the PSC said they are reviewing the petition but have no comment at this time.

This petition comes as the Montana Supreme Court is considering the extent to which the state Constitution’s “clean and healthful environment” applies to climate change.

The PSC now has 60 days to consider whether it will deny the petition or begin the rulemaking process.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information