Letter: Renewable energy standard diversifies our energy base – Billings Gazette, Sept. 10, 2013

September 10, 2013

Categories: Clean Energy, Fossil Fuels, Legislature, Letters

http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/renewable-energy-standard-diversifies-our-energy-base/article_515f9325-2009-508b-abd5-45d386781f4b.html

During the month of September, Montana lawmakers will study the future of renewable energy in Montana. The legislature’s Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee (ETIC) will spend the next year analyzing the impact our renewable energy standard has had on Montana’s economy, energy base, and environment. I believe they will discover what we already know — renewable energy has been a good deal for Montana.

Montana passed a renewable energy standard in 2005, requiring public utilities to add renewable energy sources into their electricity portfolio, in addition to the fossil fuel energy that has been used for so long. Today, the utilities are on track to meet those benchmarks while acquiring energy that is actually cheaper than fossil fuels.

The renewable energy standard diversifies our energy supply and builds our wind, solar and geothermal industries, while we take advantage of power sources like our hydroelectric that were built a century ago. It also keeps the lights on — making our energy base more diverse and reliable, putting Montana consumers less at risk to decisions made on a whim by companies like PPL that is based in Allentown, Pa.

To the legislators studying the standard — don’t put all of our eggs in one basket. We all know that renewable energy has proven to be a good deal for Montana — diversifying our energy supply, creating new jobs, cleaning up our air, and boosting our tax base. And, if those lawmakers look at the facts, I know they will arrive at the same conclusion.

Connie Keogh
Billings

 

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