MTPR

Clean Power Plan

A coal mine on the Crow Reservation was the first stop for Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Montana.

After Air Force Two landed, Pence climbed into a waiting vehicle and went directly to the Crow Reservation.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Courtesy EPA

A component of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan that the agency says is optional is being attacked by 25 state attorneys general, including Montana’s. 

Governor Bullock Brings Energy Roundtable To Colstrip

May 31, 2016
Colstrip power plant, Montana
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

Governor Steve Bullock brought his energy round table discussion to Colstrip to talk about Montana’s energy future. Several citizens of Colstrip were more concerned about their economic future.

An Uneven Exchange: Coal Miners Versus Coal Consumers

May 23, 2016
Powder river coal mine.
U.S. Geological Survey

There’s a polarized debate going on in this country about the future of fossil fuels — specifically coal. As a country, we are using less and less coal, but we still burn hundreds of million of tons of it each year for electricity. And so beneath that debate is a real disconnect between the people who produce coal, and those who consume it. The debate and the divide were very much on display recently at a public event in Casper, Wyoming. Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports.

Environmentalists, lawmakers, coal miners, and advocates of all types gathered to have their say at the meeting, hosted by the Department of the Interior.

  The CEO of Northwestern energy has accepted Governor Steve Bullock’s offer to be part of a working group on the future ownership of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant.

Bullock made the invitation yesterday, the same day he announced the working group. He says he’s concerned about the future of Colstrip as there’s talk lately about two of the power plant’s out of state co-owners perhaps selling their shares or shutting parts of Colstrip down.

Northwestern CEO Bob Rowe told the Governor his company is willing to participate in the working group.

CHS Refinery Depends On Colstrip For Electricity, Manager Says

Mar 21, 2016
CHS Refinery Manager Pat Kimmet (L) gives Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, a tour of the Laurel facility.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

Senator Steve Daines is spending the next two weeks highlighting the energy needs of Montana businesses, and advocating for policies that protect the state’s fossil fuel industries, including coal interests that are facing significant challenges. Daines kicked off what he’s calling his Montana Energy tour today with a stop at the CHS refinery in Laurel.

Republican candidate for governor Greg Gianforte.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

Today, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte is announcing an extension to his listening tour of more than 60 cities, according to a campaign spokesperson. Gianforte says what he is calling the ‘regulation roundup’ tour is an opportunity to listen to Montana's ideas about business-suffocating regulations that he would put an end to.

On this episode of "Campaign Beat:" The impact of Justice Scalia's death on the Clean Power Plan lawsuit and Montana's governor's race; the political impact of out-of-state control over Colstrip's future; new revelations of "dark money" spending, and the upcoming campaign finance trial of Rep. Art Wittich.

Montana Legislative Panel Suspends Work On Clean Power Plan

Feb 17, 2016
Colstrip power plant, Montana
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana legislative subcommittee has halted its work on tracking the federal Clean Power Plan. The move follows last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision that put the plan on hold.

How will the Supreme Court's stay on the Obama Clean Power Plan affect Montana's governor's race? What's a state auditor, and why should voters care about the auditor's race? Which presidential candidates have qualified for Montana's June primary ballot? Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson an Rob Saldin discuss these questions on today's episode of "Campaign Beat".

(PD)

Tuesday’s Supreme Court vote to temporarily block the Obama Administration's climate change regulations is receiving praise and criticism in Montana.

Montanans React To The Clean Power Plan Ruling

Feb 9, 2016
U.S. Supreme Court
PD

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision late this afternoon to put President Obama’s Clean Power Plan on hold is reverberating across Montana. That plan, written by the Environmental Protection Agency, called on Montana to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 47 percent by 2030, more than any other state.

Supreme Court Puts Clean Power Plan On Hold

Feb 9, 2016
Colstrip power plant as seen in the early 1980s.
David T. Hanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are resolved.

Colstrip power plant, Montana
Courtesy Montana AFI-CIO

The future of Montana's Colstrip power plant is very much in the news lately. The Clean Power Plan rules announced by the Obama administration in August called for Montana to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants more than any other state. And the utilities in West Coast states that own most of Colstrip face growing political pressure to stop buying coal-fired electricity from Montana. That makes for an uncertain future for the nearly 800 members of the Montana AFI-CIO unions who work in the Colstrip area.

Montana Conservatives Continue Blasting Clean Power Plan

Jan 18, 2016
Senator Steve Daines addressed a briefing on the federal Clean Power Plan in Billings Monday.
Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio

Conservatives blasted the federal Clean Power Plan at an event in Billings Monday. It was billed as an "energy briefing," co-hosted by Big Sky Economic Development and Republican Senator Steve Daines. Yellowstone Public Radio's Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Tonight on "Campaign Beat" how will the Clean Power Plan affect the 2016 elections? Executive action on guns: Should Dems be cheering? U.S. House race: Denise Juneau is still lagging behind Ryan Zinke in fundraising. And, a look ahead at legislative elections.

Gov. Steve Bullock (file photo)
Josh Burnham

Governor Steve Bullock reacted strongly to the news from the White House today that it’s issuing a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land. The Interior Department says the pause is necessary to give it a chance to evaluate whether lease rates are fair to taxpayers, and their environmental impacts. Bullock issued this statement:

The moratorium on major new coal leases on federal land that the Obama administration announced today, is either long-overdue or the latest offensive in the ongoing war on coal. That depends on whom you ask.
BLM

The moratorium on major new coal leases on federal land that the Obama administration announced today is either long-overdue, or the latest offensive in the ongoing war on coal. That depends on whom you ask.

Permit Denied For Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal In Washington
Clay Scott

As Montana and dozens of other states sue over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, some pro-coal Montana lawmakers asked for input from a lawyer with some experience challenging Environmental Protection Agency rules.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

Today, some Montana lawmakers said that the state legislature needs to get more involved in the fight against the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

President Donald Trump Thursday ended a key Obama-era coal mining regulation designed to protect waterways from coal mining waste.
Flickr user oatsy40 (CC-BY-2)

Washington and Oregon are considering cutting ties with Montana coal.

Wednesday, Montana’s Environmental Quality Council spoke with legislators from the West Coast states who are drafting bills that could shut down at least part of the coal plant in Colstrip.

Steve Bullock Duane Ankney in Colstrip 1.5.16
Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio

Environmentalists are expressing disappointment in the new Clean Power Plan Advisory Council that Governor Steve Bullock announced today.

The 27-member body includes 17 people either directly tied to the coal-fired energy sector or supportive of it.

(PD)

Governor Steve Bullock will announce his appointments to a new advisory council on how Montana should respond to new EPA carbon dioxide rules Tuesday. President Obama calls them his “Clean Power Plan.”

Gov. Steve Bullock (file photo)
Josh Burnham

Governor Steve Bullock came by our studios yesterday. Hear what he has to say about the sudden departure of his lieutenant governor, cutting Montana’s carbon dioxide emissions, Medicaid expansion and other topics.

Patrick Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research
Courtesy UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Last week a study of what could happen to Montana’s economy under President Obama’s Clean Power Plan came out of the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Opponents of the carbon dioxide reduction plan say it proves dire consequences. Backers of the plan say the study merely reached the predetermined conclusion of the utility company that sponsored it.

Patrick Barkey, author of the study and director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research joined us for an interview about it.

Colstrip power plant as seen in the early 1980s.
David T. Hanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

A study released Wednesday says that complying with President Obama's Clean Power Plan will cost Montana more than 7,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in wages and sales. Those numbers were quickly trumpeted by Montana elected officials who oppose the nationwide plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, including Attorney General Tim Fox, who has joined Montana to a multi-state lawsuit to halt the plan.

A University of Montana study funded by the state’s largest electric utility predicts dire economic consequences to the state because of the president’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The study is drawing sharp criticism from advocates of alternative energy.

Clinton Releases $30 Billion Plan To Help Coal Country

Nov 16, 2015
President Donald Trump Thursday ended a key Obama-era coal mining regulation designed to protect waterways from coal mining waste.
Flickr user oatsy40 (CC-BY-2)

Hillary Clinton has just released a $30 billion plan to help coal country. But Inside Energy’s Emily Guerin reports Republicans aren’t buying it, given Clinton's support of President Obama’s climate policies.

Power line
(PD)

Governor Steve Bullock has responded to President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

That plan asks Montana to reduce its emissions by 47 percent, that’s more than any other state. Bullock now says he’s appointing an advisory panel to draft Montana’s plan.

Sen. Steve Daines.
Courtesy photo

If you’re a U.S. Senator from Montana, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions that the White House is calling for is either a misguided war on working Montanans, or a reasonable starting point for a discussion of fighting climate change.

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