If you’re interested in limiting the effects of climate change or in keeping your energy costs to a minimum you should comment on Northwestern Energy’s “2019 Resource Procurement Plan.” While there have been several good letters to the editor and guest editorials in the Chronicle on the subject, it’s important for us all to be heard.

Put bluntly, Northwestern Energy’s plan is wrongheaded. First, it relies solely on fossil fuel sources of energy when our neighboring states—Idaho and Wyoming—recognize both the financial and environmental value of including cleaner, renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar in their plans. Second, Northwestern’s plan fails ratepayers when it neglects to include the full costs of continued reliance on the Colstrip power plant past the plant’s likely shut-down timeline. Third, the plan lets ratepayers down because it omits the cost of gas pipelines for its planned new gas-fired power plants and doesn’t include the appropriate modeling paired with battery storage for wind and solar sources of energy. In short, the plan is irresponsible and puts the screws to ratepayers.

Let the Public Service Commission (PSC) know what you think. It’s the PSC’s job to represent our best interests when they decide on the plan on Jan. 3. Please write to the PSC, mention the docket number below, and provide feedback. You can email them (psc_utilitycomment@mt.gov) or write to them (1701 Prospect Ave, Helena, 59601). If you use their website (http://psc.mt.gov/) to post your feedback, you'll want to "Comment on a Proceeding" from the pull-down "Documents and Proceedings" on the left side of the pull-down-bar and refer to docket number 2019.08.052. The deadline for public comment is Jan. 3.

Let’s do our bit as citizens to combat climate change and keep energy costs to a minimum.

Kiki Leigh Rydell