Tom Power

Valuing the Montana Colstrip Electric Generators: A Strange New World


NorthWestern Energy is proposing to purchase the Montana hydroelectric generators originally owned by the Montana Power Company. Montana Power sold them off in the late 1990s as it pursued a speculative dream of becoming a national telecommunication company. Instead Montana Power went bankrupt and ceased to exist.

U.S. State Department Greenlight for the Keystone Pipeline?

          The U.S. State Department, which has to approve pipelines crossing into the United States from other countries, recently released its updated study of the environmental impacts associated with the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.  That pipeline would carry Alberta tar sands bitumen to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast. President Obama had previously indicated that he would approve the 1,700 mile pipeline if it would not “significantly exacerbate” greenhouse gas emissions.

The Oil Companies’ Self-Serving Fatalism on Petroleum Use

Creating and Destroying “Good Jobs”

Dec 31, 2013

Creating and Destroying “Good Jobs”

From Violence to Non-Violence:

Putting Nelson Mandela’s Contribution into a Broader Context

Scaring the Political Wits Out of Us: How Important Is the Federal Deficit?

          If the Obama Administration cannot get the incompetent, stumbling rollout of the Affordable Care Act fixed in the next month or so, we will soon face another game of “economic chicken” between Tea Party Republicans and President Obama. 

Is the Bakken Oil Boom an Example of the Economic Development We Are After?

 The Montana Chamber of Commerce recently attacked EPA’s regulation of the emissions from coal-fired electric generators. That regulation, the Chamber argued, would have catastrophic consequences for both controlling carbon emissions and for the Montana and American economies.

          Some economic fantasies never seem to recede, even in the face of economic reality. One of these is the belief that if only more and more federal land were opened to oil and gas drilling, local and state economies would enter a period of permanent prosperity. That source of extensive economic prosperity, we are told, is just beneath our feet. All we have to do is drill. But, we are told, the federal government’s environmental regulations and bureaucratic incompetence block this drilling and keep  us unnecessarily poor.