The Public Service Commission is our first line of defense against injustice by the utility monopolies that control our energy, our water, and ultimately the fate of our land. The current public service commission has allowed the utility companies to make massive profits by hindering personal energy production, and the current PSC has allowed unnecessary pollution on our land. I will not allow this to continue.
This campaign is for the underrepresented voices, those struggling to pay their bills, and the people who are currently being affected by the climate crisis. I am driven by my love for our beautiful state and the passion to achieve social justice for all people. As your Public Service Commissioner, I will fight hard for Montana utility ratepayers every day.
No area affects every Montanans' daily life more than the operations of our public utilities: energy, water, telephone, railroad, telephone service. We must ensure reliable and affordable utility rates to everyone.
Historically, the current Montana Public Service Commission has favored these utility monopolies in their decisions, not considering the climate crisis or public health. When we are dealing with the worst fire seasons, droughts, pollution, and more extreme weather in our state than ever before, it is a necessity to transition to clean, sustainable utilities. As your commissioner, I will keep public health, the ecosystem, democracy, climate, and your rates as top priority.
Energy Opportunities: We live in the last best place, full of big skies and bigger opportunities, and we've only begun to scratch the surface of our state's potential for energy development. Currently we rely on 55% non-polluting energy in Northwestern Energy's electricity generation portfolio, but with more wind, solar, and hydro-storage infrastructure in our state, Northwestern Energy could achieve 100% clean, renewable energy for Montana. During the transition to 100% renewable energy in Montana, we will need to rely on the hydropower that is currently in place where it makes sense for the ecosystem, while prioritizing wind infrastructure projects state-wide and personal energy production. I will not allow any fracked gas or future coal projects/purchases happen.
The Future: Northwestern Energy's 20 year energy procurement plan includes leaving Colstrip Unit 4 running as is until 2042 and building new natural gas fracking infrastructure in Montana. I will be a strong voice on the PSC and talking to legislature to make sure that this plan changes. The base load power can be replaced with new hydro-storage pump reservoirs. I will be pushing for a decentralized energy grid with new wind and solar projects across the state to supply Montana with reliable, affordable energy in the future. I support a just transition to the communities and people in Montana who have historically worked in the fossil-fuel industry by advocating for same pay jobs, job choice, and early retirement with benefits.
I support a balanced and diverse renewable energy portfolio that includes the majority of energy coming from wind and hyrdo-storage, so we can deliver all ratepayers the best options to keep power bills affordable, while bringing clean energy and good jobs to Montanans.
More Renewable Energy Infrastructure: We must take advantage of the wind and solar energy opportunities in every area of Montana by promoting enough wind, solar, and hydro-storage projects to make up for the fossil-fuel based energy as soon as possible. In every energy decision the PSC must prioritize reliable, sustainable infrastructure projects, promote energy independence, and help create a 100% renewable energy portfolio for Montana, to ensure a livable and just future for everyone.
We need to heavily regulate energy-draining systems such as cryptocurrency mining by regulating renewable energy on-site production mandates for those businesses. This will ensure that our state will not continue to increase our energy consumption.
Energy Conservation: As we account for the growing populations and the future of Montana energy, energy conservation needs to be a priority in all PSC decisions. Smaller energy grids, personal energy production, and initiative on energy storage projects are necessities in Montana to achieve energy conservation for the future.
Net Metering: Net metering allows people to generate their own electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of only when it is being generated. Northwestern Energy's current proposed rate change for rooftop solar will make net-metering not profitable for most people, tightening their monopoly over Montana's energy. We need Public Service Commissioners who will promote personal energy production, putting the power back into the people's hands.
Just Rates: Northwestern Energy has doubled their profits in the past 5 years. I will stand up for personal solar and wind projects in all decisions that the PSC will make. It is crucial that energy is affordable and reliable to all Montanans. As your Commissioner, I will stand up for just utility rates, working to stop the current trend of increasing rates every year and ensuring that clean up costs are not added to the ratepayers bills.
Energy Assistance Program: Energy is a necessity to life. The costs of our energy bills increase every year, leaving low-income families struggling to pay their bill. Please help me sign up Montanans in need for the low income energy assistance program. This is a program that will make sure that everyone can stay warm whether they can afford it right now or not. I will push to increase the amount of discount given for this program.
Northwestern Energy Ratepayers are paying over twice the amount Northwestern Energy pays for Colstrip Unit 4
The roles and responsibilities of the Montana Public Service Commission are not as well known as they should be, however their decisions will change your life.
Authentic Public Service: I aim to bring complete transparency and accountability to the Montana PSC, not playing favorites to one company or industry, but a dedication to Montanans' requests, health, and interests. The current PSC is stifling development of new, cleaner, and more affordable energy.
It is a disgrace that our energy bills have doubled in the past 5 years at the expense of Montana ratepayers. The decisions of the Public Service Commission have been quiet, with little public input. The current PSC has allowed these utility increases for Montanans to keep the monopolies' shareholders happy by putting our money in the hands of a few individuals. As a social justice worker, I will continue to fight for justice by making decisions that put the power back into the people's hands and decisions that ensure just utility rates for everyone.
Office Hours: As your commissioner, I will hold weekly office hours across my district and reply to public comment and concern daily. It is crucial for Montanans' opinions to be heard and accounted for in all PSC decisions. We need the Public Service Commission to start serving the public's interests.
The voices of Montanans need to be accounted for in all of the PSC's decisions; we are all in this together. Please reach out to me with any concerns, comments, or questions that you have, and I will respond shortly to you throughout the years.
What the PSC Does for Water/Waste Management: The Public Service Commission regulates privately-owned water, waste management, and sewer companies that serve the public by setting the rates that Montanans pay and by responding to service-quality complaints.
Recycling and Compost: My priority is to provide very inexpensive recycling and compost pick-up programs state-wide. This is a health and sustainability issue, that can be addressed with reliable, affordable recycling, trash, and compost programs state-wide.
Scrap Metal: 70% of waste is from construction and large equipment. I will prioritize reusing or recycling large farm equipment, construction equipment, and all scrap metals. We will work with the legislature and Republic Services to make sure that we properly manage all of the state's waste.
Water: Everyone needs to have access to clean and reliable water in Montana. Currently, the wealthier communities’ water sources have been favored over the low-income communities’ water. I will advocate and make decisions solely towards making sure that every Montanan has access to safe, clean, reliable water for generations to come. I will prioritize advocating for indigenous communities' water rights and better regulations on chemicals near water sources.
Water Conservation: In a time of hotter summers and population growth in our state, we need to have strict goals for water conservation in Montana. I will be the strongest advocate for conservation of water and supplying clean, tested water to all Montanans.
Rural & Indigenous Communities: Telecommunications are a lifeline in rural Montana and indigenous communities. I will be a strong voice for the people on the PSC. I support rural 911 service and making sure our small and medium-sized telecommunications companies are supported for all Montanans. Rural and indigenous communities depend on reliable telephone and internet service and our local telecom providers must be supported to ensure that essential services like 911 and internet access are available at affordable rates to all Montanans. This is a safety issue. We must ensure everyone has reliable access to 911 services and the internet.
Localize Telecommunication Control: I support the right to local counties, cities, and tribes to create their own Telecommunications infrastructure.
Freedom: Net-neutrality is a first-amendment issue; I firmly support net-neutrality for all people and localized businesses. I will continue to advocate for public access to a free and open-access internet. People all over Montana rely on telecommunications, and we must ensure net neutrality. The PSC should support removing barriers and allow free and open access to the internet, so all Montanans can prosper for generations to come.
Current Telemarketing System: You can register for the 'National Do-Not-Call Registry' here: donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236), from the number you wish to register. This will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. More information at psc.mt.gov.
Future Telemarketing System: I support every person being automatically added to the 'National Do-Not-Call Registry', unless they decide to receive telemarketing calls. This will save 1,000s of Montanans from experiencing telemarketing scams and will stop telemarketers from wasting people's time. I will work with our Senators to stand up for stopping all unwanted telemarketing calls in Montana.
Safety: Railroads have helped make Montana the proud state that we are today. Throughout Montana’s history we have been able to progress with our railroad system by the transportation of goods across the country. I support upgrading our historic railroads to 21st century rail technology for safety and productivity.
Sustainable Rail Transit: We have fallen behind in rapid rail transit and electric rail. I will be the strongest advocate for passenger railroad transportation systems. We must continuously improve the safety of our railroads and take advantage of smart railway opportunities, for the sake of our people, our small businesses and our environment. I will make bringing passenger railroad through southern Montana a top priority.