Hello, Treasure State! Time to protect all those natural resources you have stored up in Montana and get to voting for some eco-friendly congress members! To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in Montana
Voting on your primary this June fifth should be easy-breezy because the polling type is open, meaning you can vote for whoever you want regardless of party affiliation, and a candidate only needs the most votes to move onto the general election this November. Very straightforward, all you gotta do is show up and vote!
Things on the ballot this year: U.S. Senate, U.S. House, other state executives, State Senate, State House, State Supreme Court, local judges, and ballot measures.
Remember, you only vote for one!
Our pick: Jon Tester – Incumbent – (Campaign Site)
- Incumbent since 2006
- Former music teacher
- Organic farmer
- Summary: Good intentions, could use some more green though
Jon, like most of Montana’s candidates, is concerned about the state’s land and natural resources, knowing that the recreation, farming, and open spaces are part of your economy and culture. He wants to keep public lands under the federal wing, because giving them to the state government might be too much for the state to upkeep, and force them to sell to private owners. This is why he’s supported bills that keep public lands public. Jon also introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, which aims to help with restoration in the Otatsy Recreation Management Area and the Spread Mountain Recreation Area.
When it comes to energy, Jon has a little bit of a controversial approach for us. While he supports harnessing Montana’s renewable energy, like wind, solar, and hydro, he’s also still pushing for an “all of the above” approach and continues advocating for all energy source uses, including natural gas and (clean) coal consumption. You should note, that his support for clean coal burning is coupled with a push to capture the carbon emissions, which is better than not.
Other Senator Candidates:
- Troy Downing (R)
- Russell C. Fagg (R)
- Albert Olszewski (R)
- Matt Rosendale (R) – Says that he opposes “big government regulations that kill jobs” but he doesn’t name any. It’s unclear what kind of regulations he’s referring to. His political courage test from 2012 states that he opposes funding renewable energy development or domestic nonrenewable sources, and is against regulations that aim to reduce climate change effects (source).
- Timothy Adams (Green Party) – Promises to “support policies which move towards more sustainable energy usage and agriculture.”
- Steve Kelly (Green Party) – A political courage test from 2002 shows Steve’s report for strengthening the Clean Air & Water Acts, developing renewable energy sources, and give tax credits to uphold green spaces and parks (source).
- Rick Breckenridge (Libertarian)
U.S. House of Representatives
Montana is an “at-large” district, meaning there’s only one district for the whole state. So no need to worry about which district you’re in!
Our pick: Kathleen Williams
- Montana State House of Representatives, 2010-2016
- Summary: Land protection and preservation
Kathleen is concerned with how climate change is affecting the great lands of Montana. Summers are increasing in record heat and facing droughts, and forest fires have already wiped out numerous trees and habitat. This threatens your hunting/fishing/farming culture, and therefore, your economy. So what does Kathleen want to do about this? Well, she’s already worked with businesses and eco-minded residents to create policies that support a responsible development of non-renewable energy production. Nonrenewable energy sources are obviously not ideal, but Kathleen does support investing in renewable energy development, not fossil fuels.
In a political courage test, she’s also indicated her support for curbing the effects of climate change by regulating greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging the private sector to develop alternative energy sources for consumers. She believes that the solutions to climate change are in business and policy, and that the private sector has a lot to offer consumers to make eco-friendly changes for themselves while the government works on regulating (source). She also wants to keep public lands publically accessible and managed by the federal government, not the state (or private owners).
Other House Candidates:
John Meyer (D) – John is a big supporter of wind energy for Montana, and wants to expand solar production as well. However, John wants to keep energy produced in Montana to stay in Montana, which seems a little odd since the whole country (and the world) will suffer the consequences of fossil fuel burning. Plus, exporting energy could bring in revenue for the state.
Jared Pettinato (D) – Jared is another wind energy advocate for Montana, but he’s ready to meet the demand from states like Oregon and Washington. He sees wind energy as a way to help out rural economies and bring in more jobs
Elinor Swanson (Libertarian) – Elinor wants to hold polluters accountable for the damage they inflict on the people and environment.