Several people cited climate change concerns and a high-profile Monday court ruling that threw out a new Montana law shielding industrial polluters from carbon dioxide regulation. The law had been passed in April by Republican legislators who said they were saving NorthWestern’s gas-fired power plant in Laurel from a court-ordered review of carbon emissions.

NorthWestern’s plan to double its ownership in Colstrip Power Plant drew the most attention.

“USA Today ranked Montana as one of the 10 worst states to make living in because of low wages and an above average cost of living. Our reliance on burning coal at Colstrip is the second most costly form of electricity that we have, while the Judith Gap wind operation actually is the cheapest,” said Rob Freistadt, of Helena.


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