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Northwestern Accepts Governor's Colstrip Invitation

Northwestern Energy Logo 2016

  The CEO of Northwestern energy has accepted Governor Steve Bullock’s offer to be part of a working group on the future ownership of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant.

Bullock made the invitation yesterday, the same day he announced the working group. He says he’s concerned about the future of Colstrip as there’s talk lately about two of the power plant’s out of state co-owners perhaps selling their shares or shutting parts of Colstrip down.

Northwestern CEO Bob Rowe told the Governor his company is willing to participate in the working group.

"Ultimately, any outcome must be both commercially sound and have the support of state and federal policymakers and of the customers who would ultimately purchase the electricity,” Rowe said.

Greg Gianforte, Governor Bullock’s top opponent in his race for re-election, issued a statement criticizing Bullock for shutting down a previous Colstrip advisory committee he appointed earlier this year. That one was to formulate a response to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan rules. Bullock suspended that committee when U.S. Supreme Court put the rules on hold pending lower court review.

The Gianfore campaign’s statement says, “If Governor Bullock wanted to save Montana energy jobs, he would stand up and vehemently push back on President Obama's EPA Power Plan -- something Governor Gianforte would do.”

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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