colstrip

Jackie Yamanaka

The future of Colstrip was one of the topics at the Montana Energy Summit convened yesterday by U.S. Senator Steve Daines.

Three of Montana's coal mines could shutter by 2029.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission / U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Several big coal mines in Montana and Wyoming are projected to close within the next two decades. The mines' owner, Westmoreland Coal Company, is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Jackie Yamanaka

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson says the coal industry isn’t dead. He says it’s in transition and there needs to be a plan. Part of that plan may be forming a coalition with renewable energy producers.

Richardson envisions something akin to a Marshall Plan. It was a U.S. program that helped Europe rebuild after the devastation of World War II.

The Last Piece Of Ground

Feb 14, 2018
Lacy Jane Roberts

Robin Sterritt, a mechanical engineer who’s lived in Colstrip, Montana, for thirty years, points to the cloud of steam where the town’s famous smokestacks typically loom. It’s four degrees and the towers are hidden behind the heavy fog. “A day like today, everybody’s got the heat on,” he said.

Normally the smokestacks are hard to miss; they’re the tallest man-made structures in the state. On a clear day, you can see them thirty miles before you drive into Colstrip, a tidy town of 2300 in the southeast corner of Montana. Colstrip isn’t on the way to many places. It’s out here for only one reason: coal. 

Jackie Yamanaka

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.

Jackie Yamanaka

On Tuesday, the Trump administration will abandon the Obama-era clean power plan, but what does that mean for Montana's largest coal-fired power plant?


Failed Legislation Means Uncertainty For Colstrip's Future

May 4, 2017

When Montana's 2017 Legislature adjourned on April 28, Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, ended almost right where he began.

At the session's beginning, he helped draw up several bills that would help his community, which is facing the impending closure of two out of four units at its massive coal-fired electrical plant. By the time lawmakers left the Capitol, many of the bills – aimed at easing impacts on jobs, tax revenues and real estate – were dead.

Jackie Yamanaka

A bill related to the pending closure of two coal fired power plants in Colstrip remains languishing in a House committee. A Representative failed to “blast” Senate Bill 338 to the floor for debate.

The bill sailed through the state Senate but was tabled in the House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations Committee after it failed to pass on an 8-8 vote.

(Flickr Photo) (https://flic.kr/p/aJaQVF)

Today lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill that would give the Montana Attorney General’s office $80,000 to intervene in a Washington state rate case that involves coal-fired power plants in Colstrip.

Rep. Jim Keane, D-Butte, sponsored House Bill 22 to ensure the attorney general’s office has enough money to represent the state’s interest in the pending closure of Units 1 and 2.

Jackie Yamanaka

Legislators are considering legislation to help the citizens of Colstrip and the state of Montana weather the pending closure of 2 coal fired power plants by requiring the plants owners compensate the community for the economic loss.  


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