Bob Lake

Official seal for the Montana Public Service Commission
Montana Public Service Commission / Montana Public Service Commission


Primary races are crowded for the Republican-dominated Montana Public Service Commission, which sets customer rates and approves new power, water and legacy telecommunications projects by regulated utilities in the state.

Coal stacks at Colstrip Power plant
Kayla Deroches / Yellowstone Public Radio


The body that regulates electric utilities in Montana on Apr. 21 decided it does not need more information to consider a proposal from the state’s largest utility to buy more into the Colstrip coal fired power plant.

The PSC has said the application lacked information about resource alternatives like clean energy, the potential retirement of unit 4 and how the acquisition would affect customer rates, among other things.

Official seal for the Montana Public Service Commission
Montana Public Service Commission / Montana Public Service Commission


The commission that regulates energy in Montana shot down a proposal on Apr. 7 to sponsor a forum that would have discussed climate change as a man-made phenomenon.

State utility regulators have agreed with NorthWestern Energy’s request to block details on its new coal supply contract from becoming public — at least for the moment. This comes as Montana’s biggest utility moves to buy a larger share of the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip. 

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New terms for small solar projects across Montana might have been knowingly set to discourage development. That's based on a conversation caught on a hot mic last week during a mid-session break for a Public Service Commission meeting.