Montana Energy News

2017 is the next Montana Legislative Session and so for the next several months this page will follow the progress of various energy-related bills…

2017 Montana Legislative Bills of Interest

  • Major Facility Siting Act Modification – It looks like this bill will be carried by Rep. Ryan Lynch (D-Butte). The bill proposal was presented at the 9/14/2016 Environmental Quality Council by Tom Livers, MTDEQ director. A motion was made by then Sen. Jim Keane (D- Butte) during the meeting to authorize pre-drafting of the legislative proposal from DEQ. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
    • DEQ Legislative Proposal
      Revising the Major Facility Siting Act (MFSA) corridor width to 500 feet and requiring DEQ to  further consult with an applicant. The proposed bill would modify the Major Facility Siting Act  (MFSA) corridor width to a 500 foot corridor instead of the current mile wide corridor. The  corridor width is defined for analyzing potential impacts in the environmental review document  under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The draft bill also would allow DEQ, in  consultation with the applicant, to identify areas along the corridor that may need to be wider  or narrower than the 500 foot. If any of these areas are identified to diverge from the 500 foot  corridor, DEQ must provide justification. The bill would also require public notice and comment  on any corridor adjustment made after the agency has issued the certificate for the facility.   Finally, the bill would generally require DEQ to consult with the certification holder before  modifying an application or imposing a condition on a certification or certificate amendment.
  • Generally revise net metering laws -Primary sponsor is Sen. Pat Connell (R-SD 43); Bill draft text is available online.
    • BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT REVISING NET METERING TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS; 5 REQUIRING NEW NET METERING SYSTEMS TO INCLUDE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES FOR 6 DISTRIBUTION GRID MANAGEMENT; LIMITING THE USE OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES BY THE 7 OWNERS OF DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES AND PUBLIC UTILITIES; ALLOWING CONTRACTS TO 8 DETERMINE COST SHARING FOR USE OF TECHNOLOGIES; REQUIRING EXISTING OWNERS OF NET 9 METERING SYSTEMS TO TRANSITION SYSTEMS TO ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES; PROVIDING FOR A 10 WAIVER; AMENDING SECTIONS 69-8-602 AND 69-8-604, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.”
  • Increase the Montana renewable energy portfolio standard – Requested by Sen. Mike Phillips (D-SD 31); Bill draft text is available online.
    • A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT INCREASING THE GRADUATED RENEWABLE ENERGY 5 STANDARDS AND COMMUNITY RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT REQUIREMENTS IN THE MONTANA 6 RENEWABLE POWER PRODUCTION AND RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT; REQUIRING THE 7 SUBMISSION OF PROCUREMENT PLANS FOR THE NEW STANDARDS; AMENDING SECTIONS 69-3-2004 8 AND 69-3-2005, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.”

 

  • Establish monitoring and reporting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions – Requested by Sen. Mike Phillips (D-SD 31); Bill draft text is available online.
    • A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT REQUIRING THE BOARD OF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW TO 5 ADOPT RULES AND FEES FOR THE REPORTING AND QUANTIFICATION OF GREENHOUSE GAS 6 EMISSIONS; ESTABLISHING A GREENHOUSE GAS MANAGEMENT ACCOUNT; REQUIRING THE BOARD 7 TO REPORT TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COUNCIL AND PROVIDE A PROPOSAL FOR REDUCING 8 EMISSIONS IN MONTANA; AMENDING SECTIONS 75-2-111 AND 75-2-221, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN 9 IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.”