Initiative 187:
The Facts

Unlike many resolutions, I-187 would provide local governments the legal power needed to require real action toward protecting Montana, not just talk about goals. 

Fiscally & Environmentally Responsible

I-187 is comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to help Montana keep up with a world embracing renewable energy.

Montanans Money

Contracts for wind power are being signed for 2.2¢/kWh. LADWP will pay 2.9¢/kWh for electricity from solar collectors with battery backup.  Electricity generated from natural gas can’t beat that, and coal can cost more than 7.4¢/kwh. I-187 requires more low cost electricity.


Coal Workers

I-187 provides retraining, enhanced unemployment benefits, and pension support for ~2100 fossil fuel workers displaced by transition away from fossil fuels and ~5100 more people in coal impacted communities.

Carbon Footprint

Current levels of carbon dioxide are bad for our planet because they melt too much ice, dry out the land, acidify the oceans, contribute to more extreme weather, and cause prairie grass and grains like rice to become less nutritious. By decreasing the amount of CO2 and natural gas emissions, I-187 helps all those things get back to their optimal, healthy equilibrium.

Supports Local Communities

As coal use declines, so will proceeds from coal royalties and the coal tax. They provide revenue for schools, libraries, water projects and the general fund. I-187 authorizes replacement revenue by gradually increasing the rate of an existing tax on all electricity produced. Thus, unlike proposed carbon taxes, I-187 uses some of the savings resulting from the transition to cleaner energy to avoid government funding shortfalls being experienced elsewhere, leaving the balance to lower electricity costs.

Puts Power in Your Hands

I-187 allows you to be more self-reliant by putting more solar power on your roof. It permits sale of excess power and your Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) independently, allowing you to save money. It also enables you to create neighborhood energy facilities by forming entirely new ways of producing and storing energy.

Protects Your
Energy Rates

I-187 prohibits rate increases beyond 2% annually for costs caused by the mandates. This provision, borrowed from Colorado law, has maintained low transition costs there without slowing transition.

Renewable energy
is cheaper than fossil fuels

It doesn’t matter if you disagree on climate change or government regulations or energy monopolies. Zero fuel-cost wind and solar energy are now cheaper than electricity derived from coal or most natural gas, and renewable energy continues getting even cheaper. The current system slows adoption of cheaper electricity and hurts your pocketbook.

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Wind per kWh
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Solar per kWh
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Coal per kWh
Coal-fired Electric Plants, Colstrip, MT

Tony Demin photo used by permission (Click photo for more of his pictures)

Colstrip, MT coal-fire electric generating plant

Renewable energy is cleaner than fossil fuels

Science and common sense affirm this. Burning natural gas and coal releases tons of carbon dioxide into our air. Breathing it is bad for our bodies and bad for our climate. You wouldn’t want to breathe from the exhaust pipe of your car, would you? That’s akin to what we’re doing every day as we continue to burn fossil fuels.

Renewable energy is better than fossil fuels

On top of being better for our wallets and our lungs, renewables are good for our health and our safety. Wind and solar farms decentralize power away from big utilities and into the hands of everyday people. They let you depend on the roof of your home instead of a national corporation. Investor-owned utilities often care more about making money than about you. I-187 would have allowed this project to install more solar panels on available roof space than current Montana law allows. Renewable energy means more self-reliance, lower bills, and greater freedom.

Missoula, MT Food Bank

Satic, Inc. photo used by permission

Join the fight for freedom

We need to collect 25,468 signatures to get I-187 on the ballot for 2020. Once we clear that hurdle, we can debate the pros and cons until the cows come home. Until then, it’s time to act.

Want to dig deeper?

Steps to Addressing the Climate Crisis

is written


Placed onto ballot

into law

Cleaner future
for Montana