Including Conservation, Clean Energy, Prudent Evaluation of Clean Energy Projects, Reducing Impacts of Energy Sources on Local and Global Air and Water Quality, and Proposed New State Efforts in Energy Policy.
Position In Brief: 

 The Montana League of Women Voters supports a balanced approach of creating clean energy while recognizing the interests of energy producers, workers, and investors.

Position History: 

A state energy study was adopted in 1977. Since LWVUS was involved in a national energy study, a committee composed of a representative from each local League drafted an energy position for Montana, submitted to local Leagues for concurrence. Concurrence was reached in December, 1978, with final approval from the state board in January, 1979.

The state energy position was reviewed in 1993 and 1994, when concern over inefficient use of energy led to the addition of support for regulations requiring energy conservation in building codes in 1994.

The State Energy position was updated in 2013-2014 when the rapidly increasing number of coal and oil trains was observed; escalating numbers of derailments, explosions, and pipeline leaks were reported and the increasing use of fracking created new concerns about air and water quality and geological stability.

The format of the Position Statement was reorganized to group together specific areas interest.  All local Leagues were invited to participate in the Energy Position update. The proposed update was submitted to and approved by State delegates to the 2014 State Convention. 

ENERGY, revised May, 2014

Also see related League Position on Transportation

The League of Women Voters of Montana supports:

1.       A balanced approach of creating clean energy while recognizing the interests of energy producers, workers, and investors.  As citizens of a resource-rich state, we must be sure that natural resources are used in a way that will protect Montana’s ecosystems and recreational opportunities, and that will ensure fair compensation for loss of resources.

2.     The use of   Eminent Domain  in Montana only for energy-related projects that  directly benefit Montanans.

3.   Investigation, study, and open debate on  public acquisition and ownership of energy generation and distribution facilities.

4.   Provisions for and use of mass transit. Provide more pedestrian and bicycle facilities where economically feasible.

5 .  Implementation of an energy education program for adults and children in schools and other public forums.

6.   Maintaining or increasing the coal severance tax.


The League of Women Voters of Montana supports:

1.       Conservation as an essential element of a state or regional energy policy. Conservation will extend the life of finite resources and provide immediate, inexpensive energy. Opportunities for employment exist in conservation management and technologies. Rates should encourage conservation and should reflect the costs of production, including pollution control.

2.   Activities that result in energy efficiencies in community development including residential, commercial, and public projects.

3.    Evaluation of the feasibility of energy production from solid waste

4.   Resource efficient regulations relating to manufactured housing, much of it imported from out of state, which adhere to the thermal requirements promoted by Montana based utilities and other building codes.

5.  Higher residential thermal requirements in the state energy code that maintain optimum benefits for the homebuyer/occupant.

 Clean Energy

  The League of Women Voters of Montana supports:

  1.   Alternative energy as a required significant portion of total energy purchased or created by the power industry.

 2.     State policies which stimulate development and use of alternative and renewable energy sources in technologically and economically sound ways. Development of renewable and alternative energy sources will decrease reliance on finite sources and furnish opportunities for employment. We support state policies that encourage the decentralization of energy production and distribution and the utilization of a broad spectrum of energy sources.

 Prudent Evaluation of Regional Energy Projects

  The League of Women Voters of Montana supports:

1.    Regional energy project decisions made with consideration for public health and well-being, energy consumers and energy producers. 

2.    Montana's right to plan, site, and reclaim energy production facilities within its borders, considering conservation measures and social, economic and environmental impacts. The League further supports an open decision-making process at the state and local levels of government which includes citizens in the planning and implementation of the state's energy policies.

3      Working with the International Joint Commission to resolve differences between Canada and this country   related to energy development and transport.  

 4.   State, national, and international efforts to prevent and reduce pollution, rail and pipeline accidents, and impacts on emergency services as a result of multiple long trains passing through Montana cities.

Reduced Impacts of Energy Sources on Local and Global Air and Water Quality.

The League of Women Voters of Montana supports:

1.  Vigilant regulation of water use with  fracking technologies

2.  The League opposes extraction of Montana coal for delivery to locations with known existing dangerous air pollution levels, and opposes extraction and sale of fossil fuels when renewable energy sources are available and cost competitive.

3.   Resource efficient vehicles and control of polluting emissions. In addition, the League supports the use of clean burning alternative fuels and the use of solar or battery powered vehicles.

Proposed New State Efforts in Energy Policy

 The League of Women Voters of Montana supports:

1.  A comprehensive state energy policy which includes most of the foregoing principles.

2.  A state-led study on climate change impacts on Montanans.

3.  A Statewide Disaster Plan and local Disaster Plans addressing the range of risks associated with fossil fuel extraction and transport.

League to which this content belongs: