Montana Voices: Support a reliable, cost-effective, carbon-free future

“Where are we going this time? Is this the ’50s? Or 1999?” Remember “Back to the Future?” This song pops in my head whenever I hear the word “baseload.”

Reliable and cost-effective, carbon-free energy paired with storage can be our future. We don’t need the air-polluting, soil-poisoning, health-harming energy of the 1950s.

Did you know an energy storage company right here in the Flathead Valley had to go to China to get customers? Their innovative utility-scale solution is safe and reliable.

It is a shame Flathead Electric raised our prices at peak hours. Energy storage levels the peak in seconds. Smart systems charge when supply is plentiful and prevent throwing power away, aka “curtailment.”

I read Australia welcomes electric cars. Why? EVs can even out demand and reduce energy prices – it’s free energy storage for utilities.

Which technologies? Let markets decide and keep government away. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, https://energyinnovationact.org/, does this. A rising fee on carbon is returned to households. With that money, we choose what is most economical. A monthly check is fair to middle and lower classes who have smaller carbon footprints. Make savvy low-carbon choices and even a profit.

Companies can stay competitive with less carbon use under the Energy Innovation Act. The Border Adjustment protects U.S. manufacturers. Best of all, transitioning to this future cares for our planet.

Montanans want to preserve our environment for future generations. Help our Public Service Commission have the political will to approve healthier, reliable, resilient and cheaper energy supplies. Let our members of Congress, Gianforte, Tester and Daines, know we have their backs when they support fair transition to a carbon-free energy future.

“Gotta get back in time…” Is that song stuck in your head too?

Robin Paone writes from Whitefish.