Delia Schmidt

HB 971 and SB 557 are two incredibly harmful bills that seek to strip Montana’s environmental protections.

Hb 971 aims to revise the Montana Environmental Protection Act (MEPA), which provides that environmental impacts must be considered when new projects such as oil mining and power plants are being introduced. If the bill passes, it would become illegal for governments to consider these effects on climate before approving them. MEPA serves to protect Montana’s constitutional right to “a clean and healthful environment.”

SB 557 would similarly revise MEPA in order to make it far more difficult for communities to protect themselves against environmentally destructive projects by requiring anyone challenging a MEPA decision by an agency to pay for the record, prove they will win on the merits of their claim in advance of a trial, and seek an injunction to stop any license or permit they’re challenging before defending their rights in court.

Montanans have a constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. These bills are incredibly damaging to our democracy and to our climate.

Please ask Governor Gianforte (406-444-3111) to protect our right to a clean and healthful environment and veto HB 971 and SB 557.