coal

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.

Three environmental groups prevailed in a lawsuit challenging expansion of the Spring Creek mine near Decker.

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.

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.

Sen. Jon Tester
US Senate

Senator Jon Tester asked to come by our studios this morning. He spoke with News Director Eric Whitney about the coal lease moratorium, veterans issues, dysfunction in congress, Obamacare, and more.


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.

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.

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.
Flicr 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.

Sen. Jim Keane (D) SD-38.
Montana Legislature

The Washington state legislature is preparing to take up a bill that could close a portion of Montana’s Colstrip power plant. Today, Montana lawmakers voted to send two representatives to Olympia to try to save Colstrip.

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