HB 314 by Representative Braxton Mitchell (R-Columbia Falls) would require the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) to consider the lost tax revenue, jobs, and other economic impacts when considering the closure or sale of a coal-fired power plant (e.g. Colstrip). The bill entirely ignores the benefits to utility customers and the environment that would result from the closure or sale of a coal-fired power plant. This one-sided analysis tries to force the PSC to put its thumb on the scale in favor of continued operation of the Colstrip plant to benefit the town of Colstrip and its 2,000 residents instead of NorthWestern Energy’s 374,000 customers, who already pay very high costs for the power from Colstrip.
Status: The bill was heard in the House Energy and Telecommunications Committee on Monday, Feb. 15, at 3 pm. Amendments are available to view.