MTPR

climate change

(PD)

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

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
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.

Sen. Duane Ankney (R) SD20
Montana Legislature

On Wednesday four Montana state senators testified before a legislative committee in Washington state. They said that even a partial closure of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant that supplies electricity to Washington would raise power rates in both states and cause big job losses in Montana.

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:

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.

U.S. Department of Energy officials held a briefing with the governor August 31, 2016 on options for carbon capture in expanding the future of Colstrip’s coal-fired plant.
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.”

Fire forced the closure of Going-to-the-Sun Road from St. Mary to Big Bend this summer.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new study predicts climate change could threaten some 11,000 Montana jobs and almost $300 million in outdoor labor earnings by 2050.

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