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Latest ENERGY Reporting
NorthWestern Energy said Thursday it is withdrawing a bid to purchase an expanded share in the Colstrip coal power plant from Washington-based Puget Sound Energy, blaming the Washington state government and the Montana Public Service Commission for failing to support the acquisition.
A federal coal advisory council that frequently advocates expanding coal production has illegally operated in secret during the Trump administration, according to a federal lawsuit filed last week in Great Falls by the Western Organization of Resource Councils.
During 35 years as executive director of the Montana Environmental Information Center, Jim Jensen fought — and won — some of the state’s most contentious battles. Now he’s retiring.
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MORE ENERGY REPORTING
Voters in districts around Missoula, Billings and Bozeman will have the chance this fall to select new leadership for the Montana Public Service Commission, the regulatory body at the center of the state’s energy politics, and an agency that has been rocked over the past year by a series of scandals.
The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a ruling from last year in which a state District Court judge criticized the Montana Public Service Commission’s handling of a rate contract dispute between a solar power developer and NorthWestern Energy.
A council of 44 people appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock spent more than a year developing a climate plan. The council advanced more than 50 recommendations for the state to consider, 40 of which were unanimous.
Montana’s Public Service Commission issued formal comments June 30 on a long-term electricity supply plan developed by NorthWestern Energy, endorsing the company’s push to secure more generating capacity amid a wave of regional coal plant closures.
The lawsuit claims violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the government’s trust responsibilities to the tribes.