Dear Gov. Steve Bullock:
We are members of Faith and Climate Action Montana, a coalition of people from various faith-based perspectives, mainly representing Christian Protestant traditions. We are alarmed and dismayed by the current bill in the Montana Legislature that would permit NorthWestern Energy to purchase additional ownership stake in Colstrip, pass along costs to ratepayers, and remove Public Service Commission oversight from these actions (Senate Bill 331).
Loving care for all human and all creatures is a shared value of our various faith traditions. As people of faith, we believe responsible stewardship of our home, this beautiful planet we live on, is mandated by our creator.
We take very seriously the current climate emergency. Climate scientists have informed us in no uncertain terms that we must take urgent action to ensure a livable future for our children and grandchildren. Our scientific reality is that we have about a decade to prevent irreversible environmental collapse.
Our shared moral convictions compel us to strongly oppose any actions that delay us from urgently addressing our climate crisis, such as SB 331. We are also alarmed by the possibility of PSC’s abdication of its responsibility to protect Montana ratepayers. The PSC and NWE must factor all costs into their decision-making — including impacts on climate change and social justice and economic implications for all people.
SB 331 would put corporate profits over people. This justification for profit as the only means upon which to base future energy plans dooms us to a warming planet with no more pristine trout streams, no more glaciers in Glacier National Park, shrinking populations of our iconic Montana wildlife, and potentially, no more bees and butterflies to pollinate our food. We are seeing the effects of climate change in Montana already in our smoke-filled summers. Rising global temperatures mean longer, hotter wildfire seasons that threaten our towns, destroy our forests, and force us indoors to protect us from the toxic effects of air pollution.
If we do nothing, human beings face extreme destructive weather patterns all over the globe. Our children are alarmed that we are not acting to ensure they have a livable future. When high school students protested climate change inaction on March 15th, they were voicing their fear and anger at our failure to act.
As stewards of the Earth and people of faith, we have a moral responsibility to act in this brief window of time to protect Montanans today as well as future generations. Please don’t let our children’s livable future melt away through political expediency, like the melting glaciers in our so-named iconic and beautiful national park.