Montana: Courageous integral Judge Michael Moses rules officials failed to adequately consider climate pollution, cancels natural gas power plant permit

Judge cancels Montana gas plant permit over climate impacts by Matthew Brown and Amy Beth Hanson, Associated Press, April 9, 2023, W.Va. News

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge canceled the air quality permit for a natural gas power plant that’s under construction along the Yellowstone River in Montana citing worries over climate change.

State District Judge Michael Moses ruled Thursday that Montana officials failed to adequately consider the 23 million tons of planet-warming greenhouse gases that the project would emit over several decades.

Many utilities across the U.S. have replaced coal power with less It’s been known for years that the oil and gas industry has been scamming us, lying, claiming natural gas is clean and safe. It’s not. It’s as polluting, if not more polluting, than coal. If it’s frac’d gas, which most is now, it’s much more harmful and polluting than coal. Many communities far from this plant will be harmed by frac’ing and refrac’ing, and piping/shipping that frac’d unnatural gas to the plant polluting natural gas plants in recent years. But the industry remains under pressure to abandon fossil fuels altogether as climate change worsens.

The $250 million plant is being built by Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based NorthWestern Energy and would operate for at least 30 years. The company will appeal the orderto find a Trump judge to give them what they want, pollution and endless harms be damned? Like Steve Harper judges do in Canada, a spokesperson said in a statement Friday, saying that the ruling couldThe polluting buggers always try to terrify. Unforgivable crap, especially because with the horrific damages to oil and gas industry infrastructure caused by climate change, natural gas is not reliable! Hotter heat domes, extreme cold spells and more and more violent storms will make electricity facilities in general increasingly unreliable as fossil fuel pollution escalates ever higher. Energy waste reduction on a massive scale (via education and the truth), and locally produced alternate non harmful energy would be much more reliable and economical for the state, other industries and ratepayers! jeopardize reliable power service.

Montana officials had argued they had no authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. They also said that because climate change is a global phenomenon, state law prevented them from looking at its impacts.Pathetic, like AER and BCER, and CER, and DEP, and and and. What the hell do those officials think their paychecks are for?

But Moses said officials from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality had misinterpreted the law. He ordered them to conduct further environmental review and said they must gauge the climate change impacts within Montana in relation to the project. Major flooding on the Yellowstone last year wiped out bridges and triggered widespread evacuations following extreme rains, which scientists say are becoming more frequent as the climate changes.

“The emissions and impacts of the (gas plant) are potentially significant,” Moses wrote. “Defendants do not dispute this.”

The judge also faulted officials for not considering how lights from the project could impact surrounding property owners.

Wow! Thank you Judge Moses! Encana/Ovintiv’s (now Lynx in my community) endless compressor station lights have destroyed the night sky in many areas of Canada, including where I live on the prairies, and especially in NEBC. In fact, Encana’s light pollution was the first frac harm I endured; more than 20 years later, I am still aggravated by it. Think of the harms to birds, insects and wildlife.

“Natural” gas industry light pollution in Alberta

“Natural” gas industry light pollution in NEBC

There’s no need for oil patch light pollution! All lights ought to be on timers and or with motion sensors, and must have side and top shields so they shine the light to the ground where it’s needed, not up and sideways where just pollutes and is incredibly harmful to migratory birds, insects (notably pollinators), wildlife and humans. It’s on the outskirts of the town of Laurel across the river from a residential neighborhood.

The plant would produce up to 175 megawatts of electricity. Its air permit was challenged in a 2021 lawsuit from the Montana Environmental Information Center and Sierra Club.

The Department of Environmental Quality was reviewing Moses’ order and agency officials had no immediate comment, spokesperson Moira Davin said.

A NorthWestern Energy representative did not say if the ruling would halt construction. The company says the plant would ensure enough electricity is available at times of high demand, such as on hot days or cold nights.There they go, threatening people again that they might lose their comfort. Beyond callous.

“Our air permit was reviewed and approved by the DEQ using standards that have been in effect for many years,”Ya, well, thanks to industry pushing human greed to levels never before experienced on this planet, things have dramatically changed. Vice President John Hines said in a NorthWestern’s statement. “We will work with the DEQ to determine the path forward.”Translation = We will do what we want, when we find the right Trump judge to appeal to and we’ll make the “regulator” give us a special permit to keep constructing and polluting as we please in the interim.

The ruling comes as the Montana Legislature weighs bills that would make it more difficult for organizations and individuals to sue state agencies over environmental decisions.

The state Senate passed a bill requiring anyone who wants to challenge an agency environmental review to have commented during the review process. That’s disgusting abuse of power. Many citizens do not know the harms they will be subjected to by polluters, notably as companies ruthlessly lie and their enablers – politicians and “regulators” – lie too during the “review process” saying rules and regulations are “best in the world” and “world class” and will mitigate impacts (which never happens once facilities begin operating). This eliminates the ability of the harmed to seek mitigation, after they experience the harms and learn the truth, painfully learn it too late, like my community did and endless others. Deregulation is happening on a mass scale, everywhere, to enable escalating rape and pillage by the brutal harmful invasive rich and ignorant frac’ers.

They’d also have to pay for some of the agency’s court costs.Nasty frac brutes!The bill would also bar nonprofit organizations from using tax deductible donations to pay for lawsuits against state agencies.

Refer also to:

Rhode Island vs 21 Oil & Gas Companies: Judge William Smith characterized operations “leading to all kinds of displacement, death (extinctions, even), and destruction….Defendants understood the consequences of their activity decades ago…. But instead of sounding the alarm, Defendants went out of their way to becloud the emerging scientific consensus and further delay changes – however existentially necessary – that would in any way interfere with their multi-billion-dollar profits.”

Study: U.S. Fossil Fuel Subsidies Exceed Pentagon Spending, The world would be richer and healthier if the full costs of fossil fuels were paid, according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund

Judicial Tragedy: U.S. District Judge William Alsup wanted to “stick to the science” and avoid politics, presided over standing room only tutorial on climate change, but let big oil off using politics. Science is on humanity’s side, the law is not

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Says It’s Unconstitutional For Gas Companies To Frack Wherever They Want; Act 13, Gas Industry Takeover Law thrown out by State’s Highest Court

“By any responsible account,” Chief Justice Castille wrote, “the exploitation of the Marcellus Shale Formation will produce a detrimental effect on the environment, on the people, their children, and the future generations, and potentially on the public purse, perhaps rivaling the environmental effects of coal extraction.”

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