MTPR

Jeff Fox

Colstrip power plant, Colstrip Montana.
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

A legal settlement reached Friday could have a big impact on the future of Colstrip – both to the coal-fired power plant there, and the town itself.

Some renewable energy advocates say the settlement means the Colstrip plant could shut down sooner than had been anticipated – maybe as early as 2027, instead of sometime in the 2040s. But that depends on a lot of variables, and Colstrip’s backers say it could stay open for decades.

Montana lawmakers sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegates Thursday expressing concern that President Donald Trump may put taxes on solar panels imported into the United States.
(PD)

Montana’s largest utility provider announced Wednesday it is looking for small-scale renewable energy projects that it’s required by law to buy. But utilities and their regulators in Montana say that requirement is outdated, and that the law should be repealed.

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.

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.

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