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Groups request Public Service Commission respond to petition to consider climate change

State utility regulators are at odds with groups asking the agency to incorporate climate change and greenhouse gas emissions into its decision-making. The two sides disagree over what timeline the agency must proceed in responding to the petition submitted earlier this spring.

Petitioners say the Public Service Commission is required by law to issue a decision; they’re requesting that decision by May 21. However, the agency has extended public comment on the request until early July.

A spokesperson for the PSC says the agency is following the constitutional process for public involvement and does not have to do anything by the stated May deadline.

Earlier this year, over forty different businesses, environmental groups, doctors and students submitted the petition for rulemaking change, asking Montana’s Public Service Commission to consider contributions to climate change as part of its work regulating utility companies.

Petitioners are requesting action be taken on the petition well in advance of a statutory deadline that blocks any rulemaking changes from happening starting in October before a legislative session.

Copyright 2024 Montana Public Radio

Ellis Juhlin