Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. It demands immediate and serious action, but at the same time is so global in scope that it’s easy to feel frustrated by the sense that there isn’t anything we as individuals can do about it.

The feeling that we can’t do anything about climate change is misleading. Individual citizens in Idaho, like you, have a huge opportunity to take on climate change.

Although there are no coal-fired power plants in Idaho, Idaho families and businesses get a lot of their electricity from coal plants that export energy to Idaho. Since coal plants are the single largest emitters of greenhouse gases, that means we, as electric customers in Idaho, end up responsible for large amounts of greenhouse gas pollution that result from our electric use.

Avista customers in North Idaho currently pay for electricity produced by the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the western United States-the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in Montana. The 40+ year old plant not only emits huge amounts of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, but it has also contaminated the groundwater of the local town surrounding the coal plant. The cost of the massive environmental cleanup and updating the facility for the 21st century are driving other public utilities in Washington and Oregon to stop purchasing electricity from Colstrip and dissolve their interest in the coal plant. Avista should too.

That brings us to the huge opportunity.

How You Can Take On Climate Change Now

Avista, the main electric provider in Idaho from Grangeville to Sandpoint, is being bought out by the Canadian company Hydro One. Hydro One currently serves Canada’s province of Ontario, which overhauled its energy sector to become coal-free in 2014. However, Hydro One is hesitant to get involved with Colstrip and the massive costs that come along with it.

Because Avista is a public utility, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission has the power to deny or grant approval for the buy-out. That means Idahoans can attend public hearings, submit comments and weigh in on the negotiations.

The commission’s approval process will culminate in a final decision in August, 2018. So, now is our time to take a stand on climate change: If Hydro One wants to buy our electric utility, it should commit to a plan to end its use of coal.

Take Action!

Sign the petition below to send a message to the CEOs of Avista and Hydro One that customers will no longer submit to bearing the financial and environmental costs of coal power. By making responsible energy decisions, Idahoans can lead the way in stopping one of the country’s largest contributors to climate change.

1.  End ratepayer funding  for the dirty and expensive Colstrip coal plant no later than 2025.

2. Join Puget Sound Energy by  setting aside funding to transition workers  into the renewable energy economy.

3. Set aside funds now to  cover environmental cleanup costs  from Avista’s share of coal ash pollution and groundwater contamination in Colstrip.