Montana’s Colstrip bailout bill defeated, for now

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):A bill meant to save the Colstrip power plant in Montana is dead for now, but NorthWestern Corp. hopes lawmakers will revive the idea in other legislation before the session ends May 1.The bill was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in this year’s session. Republican state Sen. Tom Richmond’s initial proposal would have allowed NorthWestern, the state’s largest utility, to pass on $75 million to ratepayers to cover the cost of increasing its share by up to 150 MW in one unit of the beleaguered coal plant. The proposed bill came as other utilities in the Pacific Northwest pull out of Colstrip because of requirements in states such as Oregon and Washington to move away from coal-fired generation. The bill would have allowed NorthWestern to pass on the costs to ratepayers investments for “environmental, regulatory, and safety compliance and reliability” without review by the Montana Public Service Commission.But lawmakers stripped language allowing the company to skirt PSC oversight, leading some to wonder what the resulting bill was intended to accomplish. And on April 16 Montana house members abruptly rejected the measure by a 60-37 vote.Anne Hedges, lobbyist for the Montana Environmental Information Center, said in an email, “We’re hopeful that this concept is dead for the session but we are staying vigilant. There’s too much time left and too many opportunities for bill proponents to hijack other ideas and try to force people to vote for this bill.”Jo Dee Black, spokeswoman for NorthWestern, said in an email that the company “continues to track legislation as the 2019 Montana Legislature continues.” Black would not say whether the company would still attempt to increase its ownership in the unit from the undisclosed seller.Talen Generation LLC operates Colstrip, which has a generating capacity of 2,094 MW, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Owners include Puget Sound Energy Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., Portland General Electric Co. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary PacifiCorp, both of Portland, Ore.; and Avista Corp., of Spokane, Wash.More ($): Colstrip bailout bill dies in Montana Montana’s Colstrip bailout bill defeated, for nowlast_img

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