Colstrip Power Plant

Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox will convene the first meeting Monday of the advisory group formed to address the impact of the closure of two coal-fired power plants in Colstrip.  This panel will help guide the disbursement of $10 million of economic impact funds provided by the owners of the Colstrip Generating Facility.

A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin
U.S. Geological Survey

We're getting perspective now on last week's news that the U.S. Interior Department said it had approved a major coal mine expansion in Montana. It caused the stock of the mining company involved to temporarily spike.

Six days later, Interior rescinded its statement, saying no expansion was approved, and the original approval statement was the result of “internal miscommunication.”

The Colstrip Power Plant consists of four separate coal-fired generating units, collectively owned by Puget Sound Energy, Talen Energy, Avista Corporation, PacifiCorp and NorthWestern Energy.
Beth Saboe

Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox announced Thursday they’re creating an advisory group for Colstrip to help the area develop an economic impact plan.

Wind turbines.

Energy developers and utility companies met in the state Capitol Friday to discuss Montana’s energy future. As the energy market changes, and some lawmakers and customers demand less carbon emitting power, energy companies are looking at how renewable energy will grow in Montana.

More than a dozen major energy market players from around Montana and the West sat at a table in Helena Friday to explore the potential of renewable resources.

Republican State Sen. Duane Ankney from Colstrip.
Mike Albans

Regulators in Washington state have approved a major settlement with a utility that owns part of the Colstrip power plant. It includes $10 million to help Colstrip transition away from a coal driven economy.

Colstrip’s biggest champion in the Montana Legislature says has mixed feelings about the money.