Montana Public Radio

Montana Environmental Information Center

Coal with the town of Colstrip in the background
Amy Martin

What is going to happen to Colstrip? That was the question Thursday as state legislators questioned companies that agreed to shut down two of the four coal-burning units of the Colstrip electricity plant.

Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe / MontanaPBS

By July 1, 2022, Units 1 and 2 of the coal-fired plant in Colstrip will close. The plant's owners agreed to do so to settle a lawsuit with environmental groups. The settlement was announced today.

Colstrip power plant, Colstrip Montana.
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

It’ll take a little longer than expected to settle at least one lawsuit – perhaps two – involving the coal-fired power plants at Colstrip. Two environmental groups argue Colstrip’s pollution control equipment could be inadequate.

Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe / MontanaPBS

Tonight on MontanaPBS, producer Beth Saboe takes a look at the uncertain future of the town of Colstrip, as big changes are rocking the coal industry around the world and in Montana. She joins us now to talk about her film, "The Future of Colstrip."

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.

Colstrip power plant, Montana
Courtesy Montana AFI-CIO

Coal ash ponds have leaked contaminants into ground and surface water surrounding eastern Montana’s Colstrip plant for decades. Three environmental groups have sued the state of Montana for dragging its heels on the clean up effort.


Tuesday’s Supreme Court vote to temporarily block the Obama Administration's climate change regulations is receiving praise and criticism in Montana.

Montanans React To The Clean Power Plan Ruling

Feb 9, 2016
U.S. Supreme Court file photo.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision late this afternoon to put President Obama’s Clean Power Plan on hold is reverberating across Montana. That plan, written by the Environmental Protection Agency, called on Montana to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 47 percent by 2030, more than any other state.

Montana Conservatives Continue Blasting Clean Power Plan

Jan 18, 2016
Senator Steve Daines addressed a briefing on the federal Clean Power Plan in Billings Monday.
Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio

Conservatives blasted the federal Clean Power Plan at an event in Billings Monday. It was billed as an "energy briefing," co-hosted by Big Sky Economic Development and Republican Senator Steve Daines. Yellowstone Public Radio's Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Permit Denied For Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal In Washington
Clay Scott

As Montana and dozens of other states sue over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, some pro-coal Montana lawmakers asked for input from a lawyer with some experience challenging Environmental Protection Agency rules.