Jeff Fox

Heavy equipment loading coal at the Decker Coal Company.
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.

Wind turbines
Flickr user jabzoog

A couple of renewable energy groups are trying to change the conversation about energy policy in Montana.

"The markets we sell electricity to are moving away from coal. Change is coming."

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.

Wind turbines
Flickr user jabzoog

Renewable energy advocates are blasting a new proposal from the Montana Public Service Commission.

The PSC is looking to change the rules for which small power production facilities qualify for certain standard rates.

Opponents say the change could significantly hinder expansion of renewable energy production.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says supporters of the change say it would prevent cost increases for ratepayers.