Governor Steve Bullock has responded to President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
That plan asks Montana to reduce its emissions by 47 percent, that’s more than any other state. Bullock now says he’s appointing an advisory panel to draft Montana’s plan.
Bullock says he wants to hear from people on every side of the issue and come up with a plan that works for the state.
“We can look the other way, do nothing, and let the federal government decide what our state’s energy future looks like, or we can ensure that Montana remains in the driver’s seat on our energy and environmental policy. I like the driver’s seat. It worked well with Sage Grouse and it can work again.”
Bullock’s announcement drew widespread praise. The Montana Wildlife Federation said bringing people together would help tackle climate change and preserve Montana’s hunting and fishing heritage.
The business group Count on Coal Montana said the committee needs to make saving the Colstrip power plant the centerpiece of their work. And state AFL-CIO leader Al Ekblad said the alternative is letting the federal Environmental Protection Agency draw up a plan that might not serve Montana’s best interest.
“Our members and Montana are significantly better off if they have a plan put in place by Montana and then we would be if we let the federal government draw up a plan for Montana."
Bullock says he’ll appoint 20 to 26 people for the advisory panel. The state has a web site for people interested in applying.