Rallying for our constitutional right to have a voice in energy decisions

Last week, dozens of Northern Plains members gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn to rally for our right to have a say about NorthWestern Energy’s methane-fired power plant in Laurel. The rally was held after a district court hearing to determine whether the City of Laurel or the Yellowstone County Commission has jurisdiction over the plant’s zoning. This is an important issue, because NorthWestern has evaded public input for this project while building the industrial behemoth on land zoned for agricultural use. Montanans concerned about land use, the plant’s enormous price tag, and the tons of carcinogenic pollution the plant is projected to emit need to know which government body to petition for redress.

We have a constitutional right to participate in big decisions like this,” member Mary Fitzpatrick told reporters after the rally. Montanans have shown up in force recently to tell Public Service Commissioners that we want clean, affordable energy sources to protect the people and places we love. We hope for a ruling next month to clarify which body has authority over NorthWestern’s recklessly constructed plant, so that we can communicate a similar message about how this specific project conflicts with the clean energy future Montanans clearly want to see. 

Stand up with us to protect this place we all call home.

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