In Montana, the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) regulates private, investor-owned natural gas, electric, telephone, water, and private sewer companies doing business in the state. The PSC also regulates intrastate railroads and certain motor carriers hauling regulated commodities.
Some of the functions of the PSC are:
- to oversee the natural gas pipeline safety regulations;
- to issue natural gas supplier licenses
- to regulate the rates and services of privately-owned providers of water or sewer services.
However, the rates and services of publicly-owned providers of water or sewer services to customers are not regulated by the PSC. Likewise, the rates and services of a provider serving its members alone are also not regulated by the PSC.
Further, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) provides information on a various energy topics to citizens, schools, businesses, and government. The various energy topics covered by the DEQ include conservation, renewable energy, production of energy in Montana, publications, events, and contacts at DEQ.
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) promotes conservation of Montana’s water, soil, forest, and rangeland resources. The DNRC also regulates forest practices, oil and gas exploration and production, and administers several grant and loan programs.
The DNRC’s Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (MBOGC) regulates the oil and gas industry in Montana. The MBOGC also seeks to prevent oil and gas operations from harming nearby land or underground resources. The primary purpose of the MBOGC is:
- to prevent waste of oil & gas resources;
- to conserve oil & gas by encouraging maximum efficient recovery of the resource; and
- to protect the correlative rights of the mineral owners. For example, the right of each owner to recover its fair share of the oil & gas underlying its lands.
The MBOGC fulfills these goals by establishing spacing units, issuing drilling permits, administering bonds, classifying wells, and adopting certain rules. The MBOGC also repairs old, abandoned, and problem wells.