Renewable Energy Developers Urge Support of Clean Energy Legislation to Help Rural Montana Economy

Executives of ten renewable energy businesses and organizations operating in Montana have sent a letter urging Senator Baucus and Senator Tester to support the enactment of clean energy and climate legislation.

In the letter, the leaders ask the senators to support the enactment of energy and climate legislation. They explain that a comprehensive climate and energy bill will “generate jobs, create new markets, stabilize energy prices, reduce the country’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, and address the threat from climate change.”

The letter also cites the importance of renewable development to Rural Montana. Last month, the Center for Rural Affairs released an analysis which estimated Montana “would gain nearly 2800 long‐term jobs in operations and maintenance of wind farms. And, farmers and ranchers would stand to benefit as well ‐ to the tune of approximately $14 million, $5,000 per wind turbine, in annual payments for leasing land for wind turbines, access roads and the like.”

“Climate legislation with a strong renewable electricity standard can be an economic driver for a state like Montana,” said one of the letter signers, Carl Borgquist, President of Grasslands Renewable Energy, LLC out of Bozeman, Montana. “We’re facing high unemployment and low wages. Developing our renewable energy infrastructure can turn those numbers around and attract long term investment in rural America.”

“Signers of this letter represent many of the renewable energy businesses in Montana,” said Dave Ryan, President of the Montana Renewable Energy Association.” “We feel strongly that strong clean energy legislation will help move renewable energy to the main stream. We want people to understand the benefits of renewable energy, particularly in Montana, where there is so much potential for development.”

Signers of the letter include: Naturener; Grasslands Renewable Energy; Invenergy, LLC; Wind Chasers, LLC; Horizon Wind Energy; Sagebrush Energy; NextEra Energy Resources; Gaelectric; OverSight Resources, LLC; and the Montana Renewable Energy Association.

Last week, Senator Baucus showed support for legislation during the Senate Finance Committee by stating that he is committed to “passing meaningful, balanced climate‐change legislation.”

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