Lawmakers funded the Montana Heritage Center museum with a bed-tax increase, but scuttled state preschool and a last-ditch effort to revive the ‘Save Colstrip’ bill
SB 331’s true intent is to secure access to the 500-kilovolt “backbone” emanating from Colstrip, some supporters say. Transmission lines are valuable to companies like NorthWestern, due in part to how utilities make money.
A bill purportedly meant to save the coal-fired power plant by making it easier for NorthWestern Energy to take on a bigger ownership share in Colstrip generation continues to evolve. But some lawmakers and lobbyists say they’re no longer certain what the proposed legislation actually does.
Two hot-button bills get Senate approval after a flip-flop vote and heated debate.
A controversial bill meant to give NorthWestern Energy scaled-back regulatory oversight at Colstrip is one big step closer to becoming law.
In a special two-part Montana Lowdown podcast, Colstrip Republican Sen. Duane Ankney and Montana Environmental Information Center lobbyist Anne Hedges make their cases for and against one of the most significant bills to emerge during the 2019 Legislature.
Will SB 331 save the coal plant, or leave Montana electricity ratepayers on the hook for millions? Those who lived through previous deregulation efforts say the past provides a clue.