March 25, 2021 Read More →

Bill requiring utility to buy more coal-fired power is “ludicrous”

KTVH (Helena):

Consumer and environmental advocates teed off Thursday on a new bill meant to help the state’s biggest utility buy more coal-fired power from the Colstrip power plants, saying it would lead to grossly overcharging Montana electricity consumers.

“It’s ludicrous,” said former state Public Service Commissioner Tom Schneider. “If (NorthWestern) acquires additional shares of unneeded power … the ratepayers, under this carve-out legislation, would be responsible for everything.”

Schneider is talking about Senate Bill 379, introduced last week and scheduled for its first hearing next Tuesday, before the Senate Energy Committee. 

“If Colstrip continues to operate, it will be an island of coal in a sea of renewables, from Colorado to the Pacific Ocean,” said David Schlissel of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. 

[Mike Dennison]

More: Bill to boost Colstrip and coal-fired power blasted by critics

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