Roger Koopman

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.

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.

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.

The power plant in the distance.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

 Edit 3/18: The article has been corrected to reflect the full name of the Montana Environmental Information Center.

Montana utility regulators say they need more information from NorthWestern Energy before considering the company’s request to buy an additional share in the Colstrip coal-fired power plant.

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

Edit May 20: This story has been corrected to reflect that Will Deschamps of Missoula is a former Montana Republican party chairman.

Mar. 9 marked the filing deadline for public office in Montana. 

A sign reading "NorthWestern Energy" in silver type against a tan woodgrain background.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Editor's Note 12/10: This story expands upon previous reporting on the same topic from Dec. 09.

Montana's largest utility company says it needs to nearly double its electricity generation to keep up with customer demands for power during winter freezes and summer heatwaves.

NorthWestern Energy logo
NorthWestern Energy


State utility regulators are nearing the end of a massive review of what Northwestern Energy charges its customers and what the company makes in profit. Several regulators this week are arguing over how the public was notified that they’ll likely see an increase in their electric bills.

NorthWestern Energy logo
NorthWestern Energy

The Montana Public Service Commission has approved a $6.5 million rate increase for NorthWestern Energy customers, less than 20 percent of the increase the utility initially sought.

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