Montana Public Service Commission

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

The commission that regulates electricity utilities in Montana will seek public input on how it will implement a bill provision that allows utilities and developers to ask for a third party to oversee the hearing on their cases.

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.

A courtroom gavel.
Best Law/Public Domain

Edit 5/13/20: This article has been corrected to reflect that the suit was filed in Lewis and Clark County.

The body that regulates electric utilities in Montana is asking a court to rule on what information it must disclose to news media outlets after they filed public records requests earlier this year.

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

A member of the council that regulates Montana energy utilities tried to officially censure a fellow commissioner this week. The two commissioners disagree over whether infighting stops them from doing their regulatory responsibility.

A Zoom video conference between five people.
Zoom Video Communications / Zoom Video Communications

The novel coronavirus has canceled many aspects of regular order, but city and state governments are still making decisions that might outlast the current pandemic.

YPR News’ Kayla Desroches has been reporting on how elected officials are balancing social distancing guidelines with the public’s right to open government. She shared her reporting with Nicky Ouellet.

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

Editor's Note April 21, 2020: PSC counsel Zack Rogala's name was mispelled in a previous version of this article and has since been corrected.

A Montana regulatory body on Apr. 14 fell victim to an instance of teleconference hijacking, also called “zoombombing,” which interrupted public comment and delayed commissioners’ decision making.

The Montana Public Service Commission turned to remote teleconferencing in late March to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus. The commission has been using the popular Zoom platform to hold public meetings.

Gov. Bullock's complaint about the federal response to Montana's pandemic equipment needs yields results. Sen. Daines has a new campaign ad bragging about that aid. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Whitney Williams wants to have an online debate with her primary election opponent. Montana will have its first-ever statewide mail-in primary election. And in a close vote, the public service commission decides not to sponsor a forum on climate change.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

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.

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
shannonpatrick17 / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Like many other essential industries in Montana, the state’s energy sector continues the daily grind amid concerns over the COVID-19 illness. YPR News’s Kayla Desroches has been reporting on oil, gas and coal production and she shares her reporting with us now.

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