Today, August 31st, representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy were in Colstrip, Montana along with Governor Steve Bullock and the owners of the Colstrip Power Plants to discuss possible new technology that could keep the plants running. Republican Montana State Senator Dwayne Ankney represents the Colstrip area and explains what was discussed.

“They talked about carbon sequestration and the possibilities of this technology being utilized on units 3 and 4 there at the Colstrip that would sequester the carbon,” said Ankney. “Either store it our use it for enhanced oil recovery in oil fields.”

Ankney says it was nice to see someone present an alternative that could keep Colstrip units three and four in operation.

“I thought those individuals from the department of energy did a very good job,” Ankney said. “I think they were happy be there. I don’t think the fossil fuel branch of the DOE is allowed out of the basement in Washington D.C. too often so quite frankly they were very enthusiastic about the presentation.”

The new technology isn’t cheap. Ankney says the carbon capture and sequestration system comes with a price tag of over one billion dollars. Operators would have to come up with an initial 250 million dollars, but are being offered an 80 percent guaranteed loan from the DOE. Of course, all of those costs will eventually filter down to the rate payers.