Perhaps you’ve heard NorthWestern Energy’s recent radio ads about getting to net zero carbon by 2050. Doesn’t it strike you as contradictory that NorthWestern Energy’s goal is to get to net zero carbon by 2050, but they want to build a methane pipeline, and a 175-megawatt, methane gas power plant in Laurel, which will emit 769,706 tons of carbon per year for 33 years, the life of the power plant? Isn’t that like taking a huge detour along the way to one’s destination?
NorthWestern Energy should do what other utilities across the country are doing: build cleaner, and more affordable electricity resources. Take for example, Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy. In 2020 MidAmerican delivered a verified 83.6% of its 750,000 Iowa customers’ annual energy needs with renewable sources, mostly wind generated. It plans to complete construction of 2,092 megawatts of wind capacity with solar by 2024, to achieve its 100% renewable energy goal, while maintaining thermal generating capacity for reliability on its way to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
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The project will provide jobs, $ 24 million per year in local property taxes, and more than $ 21 million in annual easement payments to Iowa landowners.
Investing in renewable energy helps maintain MidAmerican’s affordable rates, currently the 11th lowest in the country.
So, if MidAmerican Energy is doing it now in Iowa, why does NorthWestern Energy in Montana want to wait until 2050 to get to net zero?