Op-Eds / Letters To Editor

NorthWestern clings to fossil fuels
missoulian.com (08/01/2017)

“It is downright amazing seeing NorthWestern Energy still clinging to its desire to build a bunch of fossil fuel gas plants in Montana when we have some of the best wind energy in the country. Here’s what other utilities around the country are saying about wind.”


solar panelsNorthWestern Energy Reputation?
missoulian.com (07/20/2017)

“Ever since the Montana Public Service Commission pulled the rug out from under commercial solar projects in late June, the opinion pages have been on fire with outrage – people wondering how on earth this could have happened. So it was disappointing to see that when NorthWestern Energy responded to the criticism (see the company’s opinion published on July 12), it sought to muddy the water rather than clarify the situation.”

solar arrayPSC Creates Barriers to Solar
helenair (07/20/1017)

“… by any credible measure, the Commission’s irresponsible decision last month to kill small-scale commercial solar energy development in Montana was a leap backward and will hurt both consumers and future business development in Montana.”


PSC & NWE Push Jobs Away
missoulian.com (07/05/2017)

“The Public Service Commission and NorthWestern Energy just teamed up to keep Montana in the bottom quarter for per capita income. The PSC rubber stamped NWE’s request to torpedo large-scale solar facilities by setting contract terms so bad that no projects can be built …”

windmillsExit from Paris – an attack on Montana
missoulian.com (06/21/2017)

“So the question remains, what are we going to do about human caused climate change?

All Humanity, All In

The simple truth is that to save our gravely threatened environment and our children’s only home, we will have to stabilize the inflamed global atmosphere; we will have to save the world. And that means we need to address the climate threat in concert with other nations.

That is what the Paris Climate Agreement is all about.


More action needed, Northwestern

“NorthWestern Energy (NWE), our monopoly utility, knows that polls show a big majority of Montanans support clean energy resources such as wind, solar and storage technologies. That’s why the pamphlets that come with your electric bill give the impression that NWE is greener than Kermit the Frog. NWE’s actions, though, suggest a different image — Darth Vader.” NWE did not like this letter.

Montana should embrace smart power
missoulian.com (3/29/2017)

“In favoring risky gas investments, NorthWestern Energy’s proposed 2015 Resource Procurement Plan did not give adequate consideration to new technology options and growing public demand for renewable energy and conservation strategies that offer rate payers clean power at stable prices.”


van wertWhy the energy monopoly squashed solar jobs
missoulian.com (03/09/2017)

“public support from thousands of regular farmers, small-business owners, low-income housing advocates and energy customers was not enough. The House Energy Committee chose to ignore us and work for a small army of NorthWestern Energy lobbyists instead.”

Hedging bets on climate change
missoulian.com (02/07/2017)

“Climate change is like illness; nobody can predict exactly how things will unfold or how bad they will be. A fundamental of medicine is, “First, do no harm.” For sure, wind, sun and hydropower won’t do harm. Also, unlike a decade ago, renewables are not more expensive and in some cases are cheaper.”

Zinke’s poor environmental record
missoulian.com (12/22/2016)
Marta Meengs

“(Donald) Trump’s proposed interior secretary, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), plays down climate change as ‘not proven science’ and has a dismal record on the environment, voting again and again in favor of the fossil fuel industry.” – Michael E. Mann, Washington Post


pumped storage plantStorage is Montana’s missing link to renewables
Jerome Walker

“The solution to intermittent production, whether energy or food, is storage, as even squirrels know. For energy, “pumped hydro storage” is an already proven, simple and widely used way to store electricity. …  Let’s not let NWE bamboozle us into continuing to rely on fossil fuels. Instead, let’s move towards the clean, renewable energy future our state needs.”


natural gas generationMontana needs renewables, now
missoulian.com (10/24/2016)
Ari LeVaux

“Natural gas burns more cleanly than coal, but recent studies indicate it may impact the climate as negatively as coal because of methane released by gas mining. With our climate near a tipping point, every dollar spent developing fossil fuels is money spent going in the wrong direction.”

renewables nowWriting on the Wall
missoulanews.bigskypress.com (10/05/2016)
Ari LeVaux

“The writing is on the wall for fossil fuels. Public pressure and market forces have already forced the scheduled closures of two of Colstrip’s four coal-powered generators. To prepare for the inevitable closure of the other two generators, NorthWestern Energy has proposed spending $1.3 billion on 13 new gas generators.”


climatechange mt
Roaring Lion Fire, Hamilton

Climate Change is Part of Equation
missoulian.com (10/3/2016)
John Woodland

“Four plus three plus two equals nine, but if your ideology demands you prove the answer is five, all you need to do is ignore the largest number, the four. That is exactly what Bob Lake does. He completely leaves out the impacts of climate change.”



mt fireTake climate action seriously
mtstandard.com (9/12/2016)
Kathy Hadley

“The complete closure of the Yellowstone River because of a parasite that left an estimated 10,000 mountain whitefish dead is unprecedented, but not shocking considering the conditions facing our rivers this summer. FWP has acknowledged that record low water flows and high water temperatures exacerbated the parasitic bloom. ”

missoulian.com (8/24/2016)
Steve McArthur

I noticed a hopeful sign in Missoula County the other day: a westbound coal train loaded with coal for Asia entering a siding to let an eastbound train carrying new wind turbine components use the main line. There was no way to know where these turbines were headed but we know it wasn’t Montana because of the outsize influence NorthWestern Energy’s money buys them with the legislature and the Montana Public Service Commission.


power to the peoplePublic utilities should be publicly owned
missoulian.com (8/12/2016)
John Woodland

‘A “sustainable energy future” requires a utility that is working for the people of Montana. That will only happen if we own it. Missoula has shown the foresight to take ownership of its water supply. Montanans need to own their energy supply to stop use of our monopoly derived dollars to shout the people down in the legislature.’




solar arrayNorthwestern Energy acts against Montana customer interests
missoulian.com (07/31/2016)
Jerome Walker

Northwestern Energy acts against Montana customer interests

“Using less energy to get the same benefits or producing our own energy, however, threatens NorthWestern Energy’s business model, according to which stockholder profits are directly tied to the amount of energy the utility sells.”