Several people have asked me for information pertaining to energy legislation in the upcoming session.
The State of Montana legislative website offers an online bill-tracking service that allows you to set up an account for free. I have taken the liberty of establishing an "mtenergy" account with relevent bills and bill draft requests. To access the account, simply follow these instructions:
1) Point your web browser to:
be sure to bookmark this page!
2) Scroll down and click on "Preference List Searching"
3) When it asks for your name and password, respond with "mtenergy" for both
4) You will now see two preference accounts, CCE and MREA.
• CCE stands for "Citizens for Clean Energy" (the Great Falls citizens group -- see www.cce-mt.org). It has information pertaining to coal and energy development. Some of these bills are trying to promote coal development, while other bills are trying to address the environmental or consumer impacts of development (mercury regulation, regulation of carbon dioxide, etc.). There are also bills pertaining to the structure and regulation of the electric utility industry, transmission issues, etc.
To access information about the CCE bills, click on “Display Status.” To get the language of a bill you are interested in (and a list of “bill actions”), click on the bill number. I would recommend accessing the “PDF with line numbers” version of the bills.
• MREA stands for "Montana Renewable Energy Association" (another group which focuses on promoting clean and renewable energy sources -- see www.montanagreenpower.com/mrea). This list contains bills on energy conservation and renewable energy (both for electricity production and transportation fuels, like ethanol and biodiesel). This account also includes bills like LC 149 - Revise Electrical Licensing Laws, that may be of interest to some of the dealers / installers of renewable energy systems.
To access information about the MREA bills, click on “Display Status.”
5) When you are finished, click on “Log Off Pref Acct”. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
There are now roughly 2000 bill draft requests for the 2007 session. Of those, there are currently 81 that I have assigned to the “CCE” list, and another 62 that I have assigned to the “MREA” list. Many of these will never get introduced, and are simply "placeholders." Those that get introduced will be assigned a bill number, sent to a committee, and scheduled for a hearing. The information about the time and place of committee hearings and other actions on these bills will be regularly updated on these preference accounts.
IMPORTANT NOTE — I hope that you will find these lists useful, but I would ask that you not change the list of bills -- if you have suggestions for adding or removing bills or bill drafts, please contact me. I will be monitoring all energy-related legislation throughout the session, and will be frequently updating these lists.
MEIC Energy Program Director
PO Box 1184, Helena, MT 59624