Sunday, August 14, 2022


Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.


Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.


Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

MT Poll: Kill NorthWestern Bid to Buy More Coal-Fired Power


Wednesday, April 14, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. - Most Montanans are opposed to a bill that would allow NorthWestern Energy to buy greater shares in units at the Colstrip power plant, according to a new survey.

Commissioned by Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund, the poll found 61% of respondents are against Senate Bill 379, which would reduce the Public Service Commission's role in regulating the monopoly utility's purchase and could pass on costs of more than $700 to each ratepayer per year.

"Legislative committees can put all the fig leaves they want on it," said Richard Liebert, a ranch owner in Great Falls, "but it still doesn't change the way NorthWestern Energy is bullying its way past ratepayers and the taxpayers."

All members of the PSC also have come out in opposition to the bill. As utilities in Oregon and Washington abandon coal-fired plants, supporters of SB 379 say the legisation would keep Colstrip running and help the community. It already has passed the state Senate and has a hearing today in the House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations Committee.

Bill sponsor Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, R-Great Falls, said sticking with the coal-fired plant is necessary to power Montana during the winter months. However, Liebert said he believes the state should move on to solar and wind.

"Solar and wind farms are good for rural communities, ranchers like me, where we can get lease payments," he said. "That's what they're doing all over Oklahoma, Wyoming and Texas - and those are politically 'red' states, but they see the 'green' benefits for farmers and ranchers."

Public Policy Polling surveyed 922 Montana voters this week for the poll.

Disclosure: Montana Conservation Voters & Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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