Montana Public Radio

Bob Lake

 

State regulators Wednesday will start considering whether Montana’s largest electric utility should be able to pass costs on to customers for money it lost in the summer of 2018.


The commission that regulates energy in Montana shot down a proposal on Apr. 7 to sponsor a forum that would have discussed climate change as a man-made phenomenon.

NorthWestern Energy building in Butte, Montana.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

State utility regulators have agreed with NorthWestern Energy’s request to block details on its new coal supply contract from becoming public — at least for the moment. This comes as Montana’s biggest utility moves to buy a larger share of the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip. 

Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe / MontanaPBS

A rewritten Republican plan aimed at protecting the future of the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip is moving forward. But concerns remain about its potential impact on Montanans’ electric bills.

When the so-called Montana Energy Security Act of 2019 was first introduced it drew comparisons to the deregulation of the Montana Power Company in the late 1990s, which skyrocketed electric bills across the state.

Gail Gutsche
gailgutscheforpsc.com

Montana’s Public Service Commissioners have a lot of power. They regulate monopoly utility companies, meaning they have influence over people’s energy bills. There are two contested seats on the five-member Public Service Commission this year. In this interview, we hear from Democrat Gail Gutsche.

Public Service Commission

Montana’s Public Service Commissioners have a lot of power. They regulate monopoly utility companies, meaning they have influence over people’s energy bills. There are two contested seats on the five-member Public Service Commission this year. In this interview, we hear from incumbent Republican Bob Lake.

Corin Cates-Carney

Candidates in Montana's State Auditor race debated for the first time this election season during an event hosted by the Seeley Lake Community Council on Thursday. 

Democrat Jesse Laslovich and Republican Matt Rosendale challenged each other's ability to address rising healthcare costs, if elected as the state's top regulator of insurance and securities industries in Montana. 

The debate also featured statewide candidates in the contests for Superintendent of Public Instruction and an open seat on the Public Service Commission. 

Democrat Jesse Laslovich, left, and Republican Matt Rosendale, candidates for state auditor, at last night's candidate forum in Seeley Lake
Corin Cates-Carney

Candidates for three statewide offices debated in Seeley Lake last night, with Election Day just over a month away. It was the second debate in the town’s community hall in the last two weeks.

After a poor turnout by politicians and voters in the first debate night, event organizers expected the second round to bring in more of a crowd. But that wasn’t quite the case.

Mountain Water Company.
Cherie Trusler

The private company that owns Missoula’s city water system got slapped with a financial penalty today.

Our Capitol reporter has details on that, as well as efforts to change how much renewable energy companies can charge customers. Reporter Corin Cates-Carney followed the action and joins us now to fill us in.

NorthWestern Energy Ordered To Refund Montana Customers $8.2M

Mar 29, 2016
NorthWestern Energy truck.
Sue Ginn / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana regulators on Tuesday ordered NorthWestern Energy to refund customers $8.24 million that the state's largest power company charged when it had to buy electricity on the open market following a 2013 outage of the Colstrip coal plant.

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