MTPR

energy

Feds Dismiss Tongue River Railroad Permit
(PD)

A yearlong federal review shows coal sales from public lands need to be modernized to deal with climate change and give taxpayers a fair return. The Interior Department imposed a moratorium on new coal sales last year. It's now considering raising royalty rates and requiring compensation from mining companies to offset coal's effect on climate change.

Power line
(PD)

Federal regulators today approved a billion dollar energy storage project in Meagher County. The 400-megawatt pumped storage project would supplement electricity from wind turbines and other sources.

Rep. Ryan Zinke is rumored to be President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of the Interior.
Eric Whitney

The news that Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke is apparently President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Interior is still reverberating across the country and in Montana. For perspective, we’re now joined by Rob Saldin, a political science professor at the University of Montana, and analyst for MTPR. I asked him for his initial impression of the news:

Groups To Rally For Alternative Energy In Butte

Oct 7, 2016
The group 350 Missoula and others say NorthWestern Energy isn’t moving quickly enough towards renewable sources of electricity.
(PD)

On Monday, environmental advocates will protest in front of NorthWestern Energy’s Montana headquarters in Butte. The group 350 Missoula and others say NorthWestern isn’t moving quickly enough towards renewable sources of electricity. The rally is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. Monday at Emma Park in Butte, followed by speakers from the Montana Environmental Information Center and other groups in front of NorthWestern Energy’s headquarters.

Windmill at the Judith Gap wind farm.
David J. Laporte (CC-BY-2)

A new study says that Montana’s potential for wind energy production is better than that of the Columbia River Gorge, between Oregon and Washington.

Wind Manufacturing Booms In CO, Stalls In WY

Jul 19, 2016
Wind turbines
Flickr user jabzoog

Wind turbines are pretty sleek-looking from a distance, but there’s a lot going on behind those spinning blades.

Governor Steve Bullock
Corin Cates-Carney

On Tuesday, Governor Steve Bullock released a plan to guide Montana’s energy future.

Solar panel installation.
Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2)

Montana’s utility regulators took unprecedented action Thursday when they suspended price rates for solar energy. It's a win for NorthWestern Energy, but it could slow growth in Montana’s solar energy industry.

U.S. officials approved a 117 million-ton expansion of a Montana coal mine after concluding that burning the fuel would have a minor impact on the nation's overall greenhouse gas emissions, according to documents released Thursday.
Courtesy USDA NRCS

Montana coal production is down by nearly a third of what it was last year. From January to the end of April, coal companies in Montana produced 9.6 million tons of coal, 4 million fewer tons than last year.

Windmill at the Judith Gap wind farm.
David J. Laporte (CC-BY-2)

A federal law from the 1970s is pushing Montana’s Public Service Commission to act as mediator between large utility companies and small renewable energy providers as they debate the price of electricity.

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