Montana PSC Stands Against the Passing of FERC Order 1920 “Montanans Could Freeze to Death”


What you are about to read below (and watch via YouTube if you choose) is extremely important. Your Montana Public Service Commissioners are working to your benefit to come against such horrific over-riding measures via the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which is dead set on trying to run over states’ rights. Everything written below has been submitted by Dr. Annie Bukacek Public Service Commissioner.

Montana Public Service Commission took a stand today in the best interests of Montanans by voting unanimously against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) over-riding states’ rights. The FERC Order would ultimately end Montana’s ability to keep the lights on.

As you can read about in my comments below, the three-person unelected FERC commissioners decided to dictate to states how they are to utilize transmission lines, grid interconnections, and energy resource planning.

If you are interested in the discussion that led to the unanimous PSC vote, see time stamps 20:05-34:52 in the link

June 11th, 2024 MT PSC Business Meeting (


If not, please read my brief comments given during this public hearing that I provide to you here in writing:

Commissioner Bukacek’s comments:

Staff responded quickly and rallied together, allowing us to meet the June 12th deadline for making a request for a rehearing. I have read broadly on the topic of FERC Order 1920. Being aware of the complexity of the arguments for and against the Order and the difficulty of composing documents that are both comprehensive and concise at the same time, our staff deserves the highest commendation for their efficient use of a short period of time to produce this high-quality draft.

Staff used strong language in this draft, and rightly so…pointing out where FERC erred in multiple instances and from a practical standpoint defied reason and placed the Montana Public Service commission in an untenable and unlawful position. The conclusion of this draft politely asks FERC to reconsider their mandates that include elimination of voluntary state agreements.

FERC commissioner Mark Christie was the one of three opposing vote. To quote his dissenting remarks: “This rule is a pretext to enact a sweeping policy agenda that Congress never passed…A policy that is intended to facilitate a massive transfer of wealth from consumers to for-profit, special interests, particularly generation developers—primarily wind and solar transmission developers and influential powerful corporations with preferences as to the types of power they want to purchase.” The corporations Commissioner Christie refers to are the likes of Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft which have set clean energy targets.

The audacity behind Order 1920 is stunning: Two votes from a three person Federal government panel in Washington DC dictating to the states how they are going utilize transmission lines, grid interconnections and energy resource planning. It is not hyperbole to say this thwarting of states’ rights could potentially be deadly to Montanans.

States like Montana that have had overall sensible energy policy will be kicked to the curb in favor of states like California, Washington, and Oregon that have hypocritical, self-destructive energy policies. Montana will become nothing more than an energy transmission conduit for these states.

If FERC Order 1920 is allowed to follow through its natural progression, Montanans will freeze to death. Montanans get 42% of their energy from coal that cannot, I repeat CANNOT, be replaced by solar, wind and battery storage nor made significantly cleaner by experimental and prohibitively expensive green carbon capture.

FERC Order 1920 will be met with great resistance by Montanans including from this commissioner. Rather than waiting for this to become a deadly battle, I appreciate the opportunity to try to right this wrong in the light of day… professionally and procedurally at this point.

Always, your commissioner

Annie Bukacek

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