Montana's climate did not harm the kids - TEA



Montana’s climate did not harm the kids

February 23rd, 2024

The issue: The state of Montana has filed its appeal to the Montana Supreme Court over a youth-led climate case.

Why it matters: Montana’s Frontier Institute, joined by a diverse group of organizations and industry leaders, has filed an amicus brief in the case now before the state’s highest court. This signals the start of people pushing back against climate hysteria, hypocrisy and litigation.

The amicus brief states the following:

1. There is no basis Montana caused harm to the kids.

2. Climate change is a political issue, not a judicial one.

3. Using the judicial system as political pawns is a direct attack on separation of powers, America’s existential importance to exist as the land of the free.

The landmark 2023 Montana district court ruling in the Held v. Montana case struck down two recent changes to state environmental permitting laws and determined that 16 youths were injured by the state’s contribution to global climate change, and therefore had standing to sue the state.

This decision was a first-of-its-kind ruling in a nationwide campaign of similar “children’s suits” over climate policy and against energy development. The state of Montana has rightfully appealed the decision. We also believe it was targeted by climate extremists due to the liberal nature of its state court system.

Only a handful of states have a “clean and healthful environment” clause in state law and this ruling was seen as one of the first major court victories for climate change activists.


  • The state reiterated its argument that Montana is not singularly responsible for planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, so Montana alone cannot remedy the young plaintiffs’ harm.
  • The appeal also argues Montana’s Environmental Policy Act doesn’t give state agencies the power to address climate change or how it’s harming young people.
  • The potential harm to Montana’s economy is enormous, as the brief filed this week states.

Bottom Line: We strongly support this amicus brief filed by the Frontier Institute and other partners. The judiciary’s role is to rule on the constitutionality of public policy, not to craft or influence it. This precedent will be important as judicial activism, unfortunately, becomes more common.

The issue: California regulators have released official plans for phasing out hydraulic fracturing in the Golden State, nearly three years after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared his intentions to do so.

The regulator estimated that in 2020 — the most recent year with available data — 12.1 percent of total oil and 16.6 percent of total gas in California came from wells that had at some point undergone well stimulation treatments.
Natural gas and oil industry representatives have long maintained that hydraulic fracturing is safe and necessary, despite climate activists’ claims to the contrary.

Why it matters: This is a more radical approach and importing more natural gas from other states only further strains the entire country’s supply.

Following Newsom’s initial April 2021 declaration, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president and CEO of the Western States Petroleum Association, accused the governor of ignoring science and facts. Such a phaseout, Reheis-Boyd said at the time, would “only hurt workers, families and communities in California and turn our energy independence over to foreign suppliers.”

That remains more true than ever nearly three years later. Across the state, Democrat leaders pushed for climate action and the result was skyrocketing utility bills.


  • California ranks second behind Texas in overall natural gas usage and percentage share.
  • Capacity limitations in a pipeline flowing from Texas to the west put additional constraints on supply because the state imports about 90%-95% of its natural gas. Southern California’s supply comes from as far away as Louisiana.
  • The Golden State currently has higher gas prices than any other state, even topping Hawaii by six cents per gallon.
  • Californians’ issues with gas prices aren’t just at the pump. Residents use natural gas to heat their homes, cook food, charge electric vehicles at night and make electricity. Winter often increases demand for natural gas heating, which 70% of California homes require.

California has weakened its electric grid by phasing out domestic oil and gas production and relying more heavily on unreliable renewables. The result: Rolling blackouts and higher energy prices, plus the loss of good paying jobs in the natural gas and nuclear industries.

Bottom Line: California can phase out fracking, but they can’t phase out natural gas which accounts ~40% of the state’s electric generation. All this will do is increase reliance on energy imports and further destabilize the grid.

The nationwide average for a gallon of gasoline didn’t move much over the past week. Currently, drivers are paying an average of $3.26 at the pump which is 2 cents cheaper than this time last week. Texas drivers are, on average, spending the least to fill up their tanks at an average of $2.86 per gallon. California is on the opposite end of the spectrum with drivers paying $4.63 per gallon in the Golden State.

EPA Webinars On Methane Rule: On Tuesday, February 27, through Thursday, February 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold public webinars on the final rule to reduce methane and other pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry.

Meeting Of Joint Federal-State Task Force On Electric Transmission: On Wednesday, February 28, a public meeting of the Joint Federal-State Task Force on Electric Transmission will be held.

“I think it’s been very important for American liquefied natural gas to replace the natural gas that Russia was sending to Europe. I believe one of the United States’ massive strategic strengths is our energy, our clean energy and our fossil fuels.”

—  Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) speaking out as the first Democratic Senator to oppose Biden’s LNG pause.