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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana, Washington Lawmakers To Meet Over Future Of Colstrip Power Plant

Sen. Duane Ankney (R) SD20
Montana Legislature

Five Montana elected officials are in Spokane tomorrow to talk with Washington state lawmakers about the future of Montana’s Colstrip power plant.

Colstrip is partially owned by several utilities in Washington, which import electricity generated at the coal-fired power plant. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, is part of a movement to eliminate coal-generated electricity from his state’s energy mix.

"Governor Inslee has his views, and then we have energy reality."

That’s Washington State Senator Doug Ericksen, the Republican chair of the committee that booked tomorrow’s work session in Spokane.

"And I think it’s vital that we maintain a stable, long-term base load energy supply in the Pacific Northwest, and Colstrip plays a major part in doing that."

Republican Montana State Senator Duane Ankney from Colstrip will speak at the Washington work session. In this year’s legislative session he pushed for measures to defend Colstrip from any Washington state attempts to shut it down.

Fellow Republican Senator Rick Ripley from Wolf Creek will be joining Ankney, as will Democrats Cliff Larsen of Missoula and Jim Keane from Butte. Also attending will be Montana Public Service Commissioner Bob Lake, a Republican.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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