The 20x10 and 30 MPG Initiatives – November, 2007
Governor Schweitzer has challenged all state agencies to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by the end of 2010 after receiving a report from the Climate Change Advisory Committee he had appointed in 2006. "Climate change is serious and Montana should lead by example," said Governor Schweitzer in his November 19, 2007 press release. "By setting a goal and working toward it, we can become leaders in addressing climate change. I would like to thank Director Richard Opper, DEQ staff and the members of the Climate Change Advisory Committee for their hard work on the report." Governor Schweitzer is also asking agencies to apply a Montana CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standard and move state vehicle fleets to achieve an average of 30 miles per gallon or better. "With the exception of industrial vehicles and pickups needed for state work, many of the vehicles in the state fleet could be more efficient."
Montana-Alberta Oil and Gas Missions – 2005, 2007
Governor Schweitzer has traveled twice to Canada, once in 2005 and again in October 2007, in order to build partnerships to develop Montana energy and to entice Canadian companies with Montana’s tax incentives. The Governor also hosted an energy mission in 2006 traveling with Canadian oil and gas companies to Billings, Baker and Sidney.
Oil and gas production tax agreement – 2008
This agreement is between the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes and the State to split tax proceeds in order to encourage oil and gas production. The agreement was put in place to prevent native landowners from being taxed by both governments. The Governors Office is working with other tribes to execute similar agreements.
Wind Integration Study - March, 2007
The Governor’s Office contributed $25,000 toward the completion of a wind variability study. The study, finalized in September 2008, is intended to help address issues affecting the ability to integrate more Montana wind into the electricity grid. The Governor’s Office partnered with NorthWestern Energy, Montana Alberta Tie Line, WAPA and eight Montana wind developers fund this study.
Idaho National Laboratory Tour, January - 2008
Governor Schweitzer traveled to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in January, 2008 where he toured the facilities of this federal facility noted for its energy technology expertise. The Governor was seeking information as to how the world class resources of this federally supported facility can be utilized to develop Montana energy resources as well as meet his energy efficiency goals. One area of particular interest to the Governor is the work INL is doing related to the development of advanced battery technology and its application for plug-in hybrid electric cars.
Coal Bed Methane Workshop, January - 2008
Governor Schweitzer invited members of the CBM industry along with representatives of state environmental groups to a workshop to discuss ways that CBM can be developed while protecting the environment. The Governor invited a leading expert from the Alberta Unconventional Gas Association to present information on how this issue is addressed in that Canadian province noted for its immense energy sector. Techniques such as drilling multiple wells from a single platform, water treatment and reinjection were discussed.
National Governor’s Association Clean Energy States Grants, June - 2008
The Governor’s Office was one of 10 states selected to receive a $50,000 Clean Energy States Grant. The Governor’s Office competed with applications submitted from all across the nation. The funds will be used to support transmission planning.
National Energy Coalitions
Governor Schweitzer has taken an active role in national energy coalitions. This has included the Western Governor’s Association (WGA) Clean and Diversified Energy Initiative that in 2006 produced a road map to bring 30,000 MW of new clean energy into the western grid by 2015. Governor Schweitzer also worked hard on the 2008 WGA Transportation Fuels of the Future Report to assure that coal to liquids technology has a rightful place in the mix of fuels that need to be developed to achieve national / regional energy independence as well as environmental goals. The Governor is currently active in the development of the WGA Western Renewable Energy Zones project that will identify areas of high quality renewable energy and the transmission corridors needed to bring those energy resources to load centers. The Governor also signed on to the Western Climate Initiative in December of 2007, joining several other western states in preparing a policy guide to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the region, with the primary objective of getting the Federal Government to adopt federal standards.