Montana’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is taking comments on Montana’s future energy system. Commissioners are asking for input from “stakeholders.” If you pay a utility bill, that means you! Here’s your chance to weigh in.

It’s a short window, but you can do it. The PSC is accepting comments through Monday, September 18. You can send your comments to

Use your own words. Here are some ideas you may want to consider:

1. Thank the commissioners for taking comments on their planning process. (The commissioners call it the “electricity supply resource planning process.”) But tell them every Montanan who pays a utility bill is a stakeholder and must have a voice in deciding our future energy system.

2. Tell them why this choice is important to you. Tell them you are concerned about climate change after all the fires in Montana this summer and all the hurricanes and extreme weather in other parts of the country. Cutting greenhouse gas pollution is the way to fight warming temperatures, and the time to do that is right now. We need clean energy generated from wind and solar.

3. Montanans overwhelmingly support energy conservation and renewable energy. (According to a Montana Conservation Voters poll, 90 percent of Montanans support solar energy and 86 percent support wind energy.) Every dollar we spend on new fossil fuel infrastructure takes that dollar away from where we need to go, to clean, carbon-free, renewable energy.

4. It’s the PSC’s job to make sure the planning process with NorthWestern Energy is transparent and rigorous. That means the PSC must plan for what’s best for Montana citizens, not what’s best for the utility, its stockholders, big oil companies, or their lobbyists.

5. Say again why this is important to you. We’ve learned our lessons in Montana. We need to consider the full costs of more fossil fuel development in Montana. More CO2 and more methane mean more global warming, more catastrophic wildfires, more difficulties for our farmers, more damage to our rivers and streams.

Thank you for considering making a comment.

Jeff Smith, co-chair, 350 Montana