Montanans want and deserve clean, affordable, and reliable energy sources that allow our communities to remain healthy and thriving. Unfortunately, NorthWestern Energy continues to prioritize profits over the well-being of our communities as it barrels forward with an expensive, polluting methane gas plant in Laurel without proper zoning in place.
As the Daily Montanan notes, “The [plant’s] design calls for 18 exhaust stacks rising seven stories above the ground” right along the iconic Yellowstone River. We refuse to sit back and let this beautiful riverside landscape, currently zoned for agricultural use, become a massive industrial pollution plant for a fuel source whose prices are skyrocketing.
Right now, NorthWestern is trying to rush construction of the methane plant, taking advantage of uncertainty among local officials regarding who has the final say over zoning issues. That’s why Northern Plains and our allies are working to resolve the legal questions over what body of elected officials has the authority to make decisions about this polluting plant. Until we clarify this issue, the public is being shut out, unable to participate in the decisions that affect our communities and our future.
We know our efforts to hold NorthWestern accountable to the people are working, because the corporation is seeking new methods to put customers on the hook for building expensive, retrograde fossil fuel plants. It now wants guaranteed profits via a “reliability rider,” so it can force us to overpay for polluting projects like the Laurel methane plant.
Northern Plains members have never let NorthWestern get away with these unethical monopoly tactics in the past, and we won’t let them get away with this time, either.