Panel sends Colstrip Closure Bills to Montana Legislature
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An interim committee is sending five bills to the 2017 Montana Legislature meant to blunt the economic impact of a planned partial closure of Colstrip's coal-fired power plant within the next six years.
Included in the package is a plan to charge Talen Energy and Puget Sound Energy millions of dollars in taxes and fees for 10 years following the closure of the two units owned by the power companies.
Republican Sen. Duane Ankney of Colstrip drafted the package that advanced Friday in the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee. He says it's meant to ensure the blue-collar workers and communities around Colstrip are treated fairly by the companies that promised them permanent employment.
Democratic Rep. Christopher Pope warned against passing measures so harsh that companies would be discouraged from future investment.