Letter to the Editor - Support the renewable energy initiative for Montana's future
June 11, 2020
One way the future will soon be arriving in Eastern Montana is through clean, renewable electricity production.
Currently, Orion Renewable Energy is doing the initial site/survey work for the Clearwater Wind Farm it intends to build in Custer, Garfield and Rosebud Counties. Eventually, the revenue generated from the wind farm’s equipment and property taxes will be advantageous for funding county budgets and the state of Montana. Additionally, landowners will financially benefit from lease payments.
If you haven’t already done so, I would urge you to sign I-187 — the renewable electricity initiative — at http://mtcares.org . I-187, if voted and passed into law, would establish a cohesive, renewable electricity policy for the state of Montana and has many great benefits for Montana.
For example, I-187 uses some of the savings resulting from the transition to zero-fuel cost electricity to replace the coal tax and royalty revenue that will gradually dwindle as we transition away from electricity produced from coal. Hence, funding for Montana’s schools, libraries, and other grant projects will be preserved without an overall tax increase. I-187 also dedicates approximately $359 million for fossil fuel worker retraining and assistance to coal-dependent communities.
Electricity generated from renewable sources will also substantially reduce greenhouse gases, thus helping to reduce additional drought and severe weather impacting Montana farming, tourism, fishing, ski and forest industries.
I-187 has many other great benefits for the citizens of Montana. You can read more details and download the I-187 signature forms to safely sign (during the pandemic) and mail to your county election office at http://www.mtcares.org. Signed petition forms must be received by June 19, 2020.
Very truly yours,
Mary Catherine Dunphy