State of the Air: MONTANA

Michelle UberuagaContact Michelle Uberuaga Z at muberuaga@momscleanairforce.org or Melissa Nootz at mnootz@momscleanairforce.org to learn more or volunteer.

Michelle lives in Livingston, Montana, and works as an activist, mother and an environmental attorney. She grew up in Mount Rainier National Park where she learned that children should be allowed limitless opportunities to wander aimlessly in the woods. She believes in the immense power of mothers to positively influence our political systems.

Melissa lives in Livingston, Montana with her husband, two daughters, and their 21-year-old cat, Madeline. Formerly living in a community designated as a Superfund Site compels her to advocate for families to be able to live free from hazardous pollution. She believes we all have a right to clean air, water, and soil, and that no one should have to experience fears that their backyard is an unsafe place to play.

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Here’s what we’re working on in Montana:

Moms Clean Air Force started organizing in Montana in July 2015. Field organizer, Michelle Uberuaga has built relationships with the Federal delegation–participating in multiple meetings throughout summer 2015 with Senator Tester and Senator Daines and their staff. Moms Clean Air Force Montana has also built a relationship with Governor Bullock’s office. In Montana, we bring attention to issues and policies that impact clean air, climate change and children’s health.  We fight for a world free of harmful chemicals in our air, water and food, so children can grow up healthy with every opportunity to thrive.  We educate and activate moms and their families to work with local, state and federal leaders to advance clean air policies and climate solutions.  We are building a community of moms who care by meeting with elected officials, organizing and attending local events, speaking at community meetings and press conferences, and serving as a media resource on behalf of our children’s and community’s health.  By collectively speaking out against air pollution and climate change, we are creating a powerful force in Montana that is rooted in the love we have for our children.

Montana is a major coal producing state that prizes its rural character and pristine natural resources. Our coal industry is intertwined with the economy and transport routes of the entire Pacific Northwest region, as well as contributing to local and regional air pollution.

America’s Clean Power Plan will limit the pollution causing climate change – and will have a large impact on the state of Montana. Because Montana has done little to nothing thus far to limit carbon emissions, EPA has set an aggressive standard for our state to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, making it one of the highest emissions reduction targets in the Clean Power Plan.

Faced with this challenge, Montana is showing leadership in finding solutions and has affirmed that it will submit a state plan detailing its strategy to meet the emissions reduction goals. Our Montana chapter promotes strategies to cut carbon emissions in a way that protects both children’s health and the economy. We also work to ensure that coal mining, coal transport, and coal burning is well-regulated, to protect our children and families, and to preserve our open lands and agricultural heritage.

America’s Clean Power Plan

America’s Clean Power Plan is an essential tool in addressing climate change and a step forward in protecting our children’s health. The Environmental Protection Agency released the Clean Power Plan in July 2015. Moms Clean Air Force joined a coalition of allies, including American Lung Association, Climate Smart Missoula, Montana Conservation Voters and more, to help organize support for the Clean Power Plan in Montana and to educate Montanans about the potential health benefits of the plan. Moms Clean Air Force has participated in meetings with Governor Steve Bullock, Attorney General Tim Fox, Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Ryan Zinke to discuss America’s Clean Power Plan and to urge them to support setting carbon emission limitations in Montana. On June 21, 2016, Governor Bullock announced a clean energy plan for Montana, setting Montana on course for America’s Clean Power Plan compliance. Governor Bullock committed to this plan and was pushed forward by the hard work of Montana Moms demonstrating the demand for clean air in the state. In Montana, we are fighting the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal America’s Clean Power Plan.

Methane

Moms Clean Air Force is working to reduce methane emissions from existing fracking operations. Moms sent a “supermom,” from Livingston, Montana, Erica Lighthiser, to Washington, D.C., November 3-5, 2015, to urge our decision makers to work with President Obama’s administration to prevent methane leaks. Moms is also tabling and gathering signatures to send to the EPA in support of strict methane limitations.

Please join us in this fight for cleaner air and climate solutions in Montana.

Moms Clean Air Force Programs in Montana

Our Moms & Mayors program connects moms with their mayors and local leaders to improve children’s health and build resilient communities.  We educate, empower and mobilize Moms in their hometowns to work with their local elected leaders to implement clean air strategies, reduce toxins in the community and take action on climate change.   We also train Moms to join boards and commissions and urge them to run for office.

Our Baby Power program educates and engages expectant and new moms on our issues with the message:  every baby has the power to make you want to change the world.

In addition to state-specific work, Moms Clean Air Force Montana is supporting national campaigns:

Stopping the Rollbacks of Environmental Protections:  We are working hard to oppose the assaults on our bedrock environmental laws by the Trump Administration and the EPA Administrator, including:

  • Climate Change: We are fighting the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal America’s Clean Power Plan that sought to reduce carbon emissions, decrease dangerous co-pollutants, and achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
  • Smog: We are opposing the Trump Administration’s EPA proposal to weaken national smog standards.
  • Clean Cars: We are opposing the Trump Administration’s attempt to roll back sensible fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. The current clean car standards would prevent 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution by 2025 and save American families $1.7 trillion in fuel costs.
  • Mercury: We are opposing the attempt by the Trump Administration to loosen regulations that reduce the harmful mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.
  • Chemical Policy Reform: We are fighting to implement the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (2016) that keeps toxic chemicals out of the products we use every day.
  • Natural Gas Pollution: We are opposing the Trump Administration’s attempt to roll back Federal methane rules for new sources, weakening the limits on the amount of methane pollution that the oil and gas industry is allowed to vent, leak and burn. We are demanding strong protections from methane, volatile organic compounds, and other harmful air pollutants associated with fracking and natural gas development.
  • EPA Budget: We are fighting to ensure the EPA budget is fully funded, opposing the Trump Administration’s proposal to gut its budget by more than 25%.

Fighting to Make Climate Progress:

  • Clean Energy: We are working to build support at the local, state and federal level to ensure that our energy future is renewable, clean, and healthy — for the sake of our children’s health.
  • Tell Your Governor: Take the Lead on Climate Action:  With America’s departure from the historic Paris Climate Agreement, the responsibility for climate action now falls on others: States, municipalities, businesses, universities and communities. With the federal government surrendering its chance to lead on climate action, our states must be as aggressive as possible in the effort to thwart global warming and protect the health of our children. Let your governor know that you demand climate action and you need them to take the lead.

Montana’s electricity generation by source, 2017:

  • Coal (46%)

  • Hydro (42%)

  • Wind (8%)

  • Natural Gas (1%)

  • Other (4%)

In January 2011, all coal-fired power plants in Montana began using mercury-control technology. According to the Department of Environmental Quality, the State’s rule has resulted in real reductions at all of Montana’s coal plants (770 pounds of mercury were kept out of the air in 2011)

The average carbon reduction nationwide is 30% by 2030. Montana’s proposed target is a carbon emission rate reduction of 21%

As of the end of 2015, Montana held nearly one fourth of the nation‘s demonstrated coal reserve base and as a result was the sixth largest coal producing state

According to the American Lung Association’s 2018 State of the Air Report, Missoula, Montana was tied for 1st for the cleanest US cities for ozone air pollution.

Nearly 6% of Montana children have asthma

Climate change plays a significant role when it comes to Montana air quality due to increased wildfires

According to the American Lung Association’s 2018 State of the Air report, 8 counties in Montana received a score of F for short-term particle air pollution



Climate Change Increases Wildfires: Find Out How Your Region Is Affected

BY Moms Clean Air Force ON July 27, 2018
This wildfire resource is from Climate Signals: Climate change has increased the risk of wildfires through warmer temperatures and drier conditions that lengthen wildfire season, increase the chances of a fire starting, and help a burning fire spread. Warmer and drier conditions also contribute to...

TOPICS: Air Pollution, Alaska, California, Children's Health, Climate Change, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Great Lakes, Heat and Extreme Weather, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New England, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Science, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Play-in for Climate Action 2018 Photos and More!

BY Ronnie Citron-Fink ON July 15, 2018
We were excited to host our 5th annual Play-In for Climate Action this week. Hundreds of parents and children from 30 states gathered near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC to call for meaningful action on climate change. This family-friendly protest against the air pollution that...

TOPICS: Activism, African-American Community, Air Pollution, Alaska, Asthma, Children's Health, Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Climate Change, Colorado, Environment, EPA, Florida, Georgia, Great Lakes, Heat and Extreme Weather, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Latino Community, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, MCAF News, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Motherhood, Nevada, New England, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Politics, Pollution, Social Justice, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Moms and Mayors: Mama Summits in Action (photos)

BY Moms Clean Air Force ON May 8, 2018
  Our Moms and Mayors Mama Summits are in full swing! We’re hosting Mama Summits in 11 cities, giving Moms across the nation the opportunity to work directly with local officials. Moms & Mayors resources give you the tools you need to work with your community’s...

TOPICS: Activism, Children's Health, Climate Change, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Montana, Motherhood, New Mexico, Ohio, Politics, Pollution, Social Justice

The State of Your Air 2018

BY Molly Rauch ON April 20, 2018
How does your city stack up when it comes to air pollution? The American Lung Association helps sort it out in their new report: State of the Air 2018. The results are troubling. More than 40% of Americans live in counties where the air is...

TOPICS: Air Pollution, Alaska, Asthma, California, Children's Health, Colorado, Florida, Fracking, Georgia, Heat and Extreme Weather, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Natural Gas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ozone, Pennsylvania, Pollution, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia

Montana Moms Testify in Wyoming in Support of America’s Clean Power Plan

BY Ronnie Citron-Fink ON April 10, 2018
In Gillette, Wyoming, Moms testified against repealing America’s Clean Power Plan. Gillette hosted the final EPA public hearing. America’s Clean Power Plan was first proposed under President Obama. At the time, the EPA conducted extensive public outreach and received more than 8 million comments in support...

TOPICS: Air Pollution, Asthma, Children's Health, Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Climate Change, Coal, Colorado, EPA, Heat and Extreme Weather, MCAF News, Montana, Politics, Pollution
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2018

2017

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2015

Upcoming Events

Weekly Friday Clean Air Kids Hike: Most Montana Moms have one thing in common: we love spending time outside with our kids. And we have so much clean air and so much Montana to explore!

Please join Moms Clean Air Force’s Montana Field Manager, Michelle Uberuaga, for our Friday Clean Air Kids hike. Most of our hikes take place in SW Montana, but we’d love an excuse to travel, meet new moms and explore new hiking trails. Contact Michelle at muberuaga@momscleanairforce.org to join a hike or to help organize a hike in your community.

Past Events

July 2018

Members of Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended the fifth annual Play-In for Climate Action on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

June 2018

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members hosted a Clean Air Baby Shower in Billings.

May 2018

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a Mama Summit in Livingston to learn about and celebrate local action on climate change.  

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members hosted a Clean Air Baby Shower in Livingston.

April 2018

Moms Clean Air Force Montana participated in the Annual Yellowstone River Clean-up.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members attended a public EPA Superfund meeting.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana tabled at the Bozeman Baby Expo.

March 2018

Members of Moms Clean Air Force Colorado testified at the Clean Power Plan listening session in Gillette, WY.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana supermom, Erica Lighthiser spoke on the MT Women in Conservation Panel.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended a Public Lands Rally with Lisa Bullock in Bozeman.

February 2018

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members attended a Youth Climate Panel featuring Nathan Baring of Our Children’s Trust.

January 2018

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a Supermom letter writing party in Helena.

December 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a panel discussion on public health and the economic impacts of wildfires in Montana. This discussion featured community leaders, health professionals, and moms. Attendees learned about the health and economic impacts of wildfires to our communities and received information on how to prepare for the upcoming fire seasons.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a series of house parties.

November 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana  co-hosted a film series, including “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a gathering at a Billings Supermom’s home to engage on issues that are impacting the health of our children.

October 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana co-hosted a film series, including “From the Ashes”.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana participated in HuffPost’s Listen to America Tour in Livingston.

September 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members traveled to Washington, DC to meet with lawmakers and urge them to protect EPA’s budget.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana joined First Lady Lisa Bullock in Helena, Montana to select the winner of the summer coloring contest.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a “Play-In for Climate Action” in Helena, in conjunction with the Clean Energy Fair and Sun Run.

August 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana tabled in Big Sky at a family festival.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a “Mama summit”, climbing Sacajawea Peak.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana tabled at the Livingston Hoot.

July 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members attended and spoke at an EPA hearing regarding lowering the water quality standards for superfund cleanup.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended a People’s’ Hearing in Bozeman focused on how EPA budget cuts and protective rule rollbacks being proposed would impact Montana families and communities.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended and testified at a EPA Public Meeting in Anaconda focused on water quality standards associated with Superfund clean-up.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members attended the 2017 Play-In for Climate Action in Washington, DC, where they met with Senator Tester and Senator Daines.

Members of Moms Clean Air Force Montana joined a local business to ride in the Livingston 4th of July parade.

June 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana presented at a Rotary Club meeting.

Moms Clean Air Force Montanta hosted a Father’s Day “Missoula Meet-up and Picnic” at Silver Park, including floating the river, fishing, picnic and park meet-up.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a trail ride in Livingston.

May 2017

Moms Clean Air Force attended “Family Adventure Day” with Montana Mountain Mamas, REI and Friends of Hyalite.

April 2017

Moms Clean Air Force attended a screening of Supermom Erica Lighthiser’s HGTV off-grid Montana in Livingston, MT.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana participated in a solidarity climate march with student groups in Missoula, MT.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended a Celebration of Science in Gardiner, MT.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended the March for Science in Bozeman.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana met with staff from Senator Daines’ and Senator Tester’s offices.

March 2017

Supermom, Erica Lighthiser attended a public lands rally in Helena with her family and thanked Senator Tester for his work to protect Montana’s air and water for the next generation.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended a town hall hosted by Senator Tester.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana partnered with Montana Mountain Mamas to bring a bus of Livingston residents to Helena for a solar rally.

February 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana participated in the women’s Q-tip march on Senator Daines in Bozeman.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana supermom, Hannah hosted “Bring the town hall to Daines” in Helena.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended a Solar job rally and citizen lobby training in Helena.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended an event hosted by Senator Tester at the Bozeman Library: “Plowing Forward; Farming in a Changing Climate.”

Moms Clean Air Force hosted an outreach event in Missoula.

January 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Montana participated in a Citizen Lobby Day.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended Governor Steve Bullock’s 2017 Kids’ Inaugural Ball in Helena.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana marched in a local Montana Women’s March, part of a network of marches held across the country.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members traveled to Washington, DC to meet with their Senators and urge them to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head EPA.

December 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Montana tabled at Bozeman Christmas stroll.

November 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Montana partnered with Montana Mountain Mamas and hosted a GOTV event at the local brewery.

October 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a presidential debate watch party.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a House Party in Helena.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana tabled at Harvest party.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana tabled at Raptor Fest.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a house party in Missoula.

September 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a Play-In for Climate Action in conjunction with Montana’s Clean Energy Fair and Sun Run.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana partnered with Montana Renewable Energy Association and Sleeping Giants Citizen Council for a Sun Run, Energy Fair and Play-in for Climate Action at the Helena Capitol.

August 2016

Field organizer, Michelle Uberuaga attended the National Park Service 100th centennial and met with Senator Jon Tester’s staff.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted Every Kid in a Park at the Bozeman Public Library to celebrate Yellowstone’s Centennial with Montana Mountain Mamas.

Field organizer, Michelle Uberuaga, and her two-year-old daughter, Neva, provided video testimony for EPA’s Clean Energy Incentive Program hearing in Chicago.

July 2016

On July 8, 2016, Michelle Uberuaga and a group of Moms and bikes led the Livingston Roundup Parade (attended by 8000 people). The bike brigade followed Governor Steve Bullock.

On July 16, 2016, Michelle Uberuaga hosted the School’s Out Food Drive collection event at the community gardens.

May 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted their first Mama Summit at the Lewis and Clark Caverns.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana members biked across the panhandle of Idaho.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a Mother’s Day Float fishing trip with Montana Mountain Mamas and Montana’s Last Best Outfitters. Attendees included First Lady Lisa Bullock and her three children, and Livingston city council women, Dorel Hoglund and her two daughters. The event was covered by outdoor reporter, Brett French of the Billings Gazette.

April 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a mama hike and meetup.

March 2016

Field Organizer, Michelle Uberuaga hosted a Kids Clean Air Press Conference featuring Governor Bullock, who delivered comments. With over 150 people in attendance, Governor Bullock stated that he will re-instate the Clean Power Plan advisory council if the stay is lifted and in the meantime he is moving forward with a Montana-made clean energy “blueprint.” Citing the Montana constitution he said, “clean air is your right, which makes it my responsibility.”

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a number of Clean Air Kids Hikes.

February 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Montana tabled at the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry ski film festival.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana hosted a “Ski-in” at Bridger Bowl. 15 moms participated throughout the day and we gathered 50 beautifully decorated hand prints that we will display in the Capitol building in Helena for our Mama Summit.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana met with a Girl Scout troop in Livingston, MT. The discussion revolved around the importance of clean air and government. 

Moms Clean Air Force Montana held a series of Valentine making parties to send to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy advocating for limits on methane pollution from the oil & gas industry.

January 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Montana attended a “Women in Politics” event.

Moms Clean Air Force Montana started a weekly “clean air” hiking event.

Field organizer, Michelle Uberuaga testified at a legislative subcommittee hearing in Helena on America’s Clean Power Plan and it’s importance to Montana’s children and families.


December 5th, 2015: Moms Clean Air Force Montana co-hosted a Community Canned Food Drive: Food insecurity and Climate Change | Livingston Food Pantry, 202 S. 2nd Street, Livingston


November 3-5, 2015: Montana “Supermom” Erica Lighthiser traveled to Washington D.C.  to urge our elected officials to set strict limitations on methane emissions.


October 28, 2015Three Montana “Supermoms” participated in a telepresser focused on America’s Clean Power Plan; the story was picked up by Montana Public Radio


October 6, 2015Montana Field Manager Michelle Uberuaga met with Attorney General Tim Fox to urge him not to file a lawsuit against America’s Clean Power Plan.

Exclusive Interviews

Governor

Steve Bullock

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US Senate

Steve Daines

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Jon Tester

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US House of Representatives

Greg Gianforte (At Large)

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Take a look at what we’ve been up to in Montana: