By Emma Wulfhorst, NBC Montana
HELENA, Mont. — A bill environmental groups say could force NorthWestern Energy customers to pay an extra $1 billion is one step closer to the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 379 aims to continue the ownership and operation of coal-fired generating units in Colstrip.
The Montana Environmental Information Center says the bill would require customers pick up the entire cost of operating the plant.
However, NorthWestern Energy says Montana does not have enough 24/7 energy resources to meet peak demands.
They also say there is no basis for estimating any cost effects.
SB 379 passed through the Senate and now moves to the House.