We hit a significant anniversary this month: we have made it one year into the pandemic. This is a sobering milestone, and we extend our sympathy to all who have lost loved ones and experienced hardship during this time. As we look back, we are also heartened by the hard work of Northern Plains members and inspired by all we have achieved despite these profound challenges. Here are just a few of our wins from the past year:

C-PACE passed the Senate! Thanks to more opportunities for virtual testimony this year, we turned out more support for C-PACE and turned up the pressure on lawmakers, building important grassroots momentum to potentially get this bill over the finish line.

We killed KXL! After more than ten years organizing to fight the Keystone XL pipeline, this win is no small matter! At least for now, the tides have changed in our favor.

We have final radioactive oil waste disposal rules! After more than six years of organizing — and a last ditch effort to derail these rules in the early days of the pandemic — we stood up once more to ensure Montana’s first ever rules guiding the disposal of radioactive oil waste were finalized this summer.

In November, the DEQ approved “high and dry” cleanup requiring excavation of coal ash ponds that have contaminated local groundwater for decades. If implemented, this plan will protect Rosebud County water and create good-paying jobs at a time when they are needed most.

The Yellowstone Valley Food Hub met the needs of the Billings community and showed the resiliency of a strong local food system, especially during stockpiling and panic-buying grocery shortages.

Last, but definitely not least, our members gained new technological skills with a tenacious “can do” spirit and plenty of patience as we all navigated unfamiliar, virtual spaces.

It’s encouraging to look back and acknowledge all the progress we have made even through a pandemic. If we can win on our issues amidst unparalleled uncertainty, from behind masks and computer screens, we can win anytime!

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