Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council advocates for a healthy, inviting, and sustainable community.
Fighting the Laurel Methane Plant
NorthWestern Energy is recklessly pushing forward a proposal to create a methane power plant in Laurel, Montana. This project creates financial risks for energy customers while threatening our health, air quality, and climate. We are working with other members at Northern Plains to stop construction of the plant.
Enabling C-PACE in Yellowstone County
In 2021, we helped pass a C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancements) financing bill at the Montana legislature to help business and non-profits afford clean energy upgrades. We are now working to implement C-PACE in Yellowstone County to bring affordable clean energy to the area.
Issues We Work On
We believe in a clean energy future where people can make decisions about their power to purchase, and making it easier for businesses to make energy improvements on their property.
Walkability and Bikeability
Our community health, wealth, and vibrancy is improved when multiple modes of transportation are safe and accessible for all people of Billings and Yellowstone County.
Central and eastern Montana boast an abundance of fresh, locally-grown and raised food. We are working to improve access and affordability for consumers, while supporting our agricultural economy.
We believe in a vibrant urban community and preserving our rural landscapes that we so treasure in Yellowstone County. That’s why we support sustainable development that promotes urban density, water and resource conservation.
Billings used to have the worst air quality in the U.S., and posed a major health risk to residents. Many were sickened and died due to the dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide in the 1970s and 80s. YVCC successfully fought for air quality standards, and continue to do so to keep our community safe.
History and Accomplishments
Since its inception in 1979, YVCC has achieved many victories, including:
- Helping to dramatically improve the air quality in Yellowstone County through a long-term campaign to improve the enforcement of air quality laws;
- Increasing individual and institutional patronage of locally raised and processed food through our community food campaign;
- Brought residential solar to more than ten homes and connected solar installers to more than 50 homeowners through our Solarize Billings campaign in 2021.
- Re-established the Energy and Conservation Commission with the City of Billings to focus on energy conservation efforts at the City that reduce consumption and increase savings.
- Helping to ensure that Billings’ new library is a LEED Platinum certified, water- and energy-efficient building by engaging citizens and community leaders to build public support, while participating in every step of the city’s decision-making process.
- Supported the efforts of teachers and parents to start school gardens at Canyon Creek School, Blue Creek School, and Billings West High School;
- Recruited businesses to sponsor recycling pick-up in more than 20 Billings public elementary schools;
- Supported our friends and neighbors to hold off oil and gas development along the Beartooth Front and in Yellowstone County;
- Built support for a full-time neighborhood planner to coordinate “smart growth” planning in our community;
- Successfully challenged efforts to site hazardous waste facilities near the Yellowstone River.
Northern Plains Board Representative