Montana Public Radio

Montana Public Service Commission

In the latest step of a long pre approval process, the commission that regulates electric utilities in Montana wants to know how big a share NorthWestern Energy intends to purchase in the Colstrip coal fired power plant.

 

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.

Favorites in the top races won their primaries but the general election may not be as predictable. President Trump plans to campaign in Montana for his favorite Steve. And hard-line conservatives celebrate legislative primary victories.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Montana primary voters held onto an incumbent and advanced new candidates in races for the board that regulates electric utilities in the state.

The closest race for the Montana Public Service Commission was for District 2 in southeast Montana, where incumbent Republican Tony O’Donnell of Billings fought for a second term against former PSC commissioner Kirk Bushman and State Rep. Daniel Zolnikov.


Primary races are crowded for the Republican-dominated Montana Public Service Commission, which sets customer rates and approves new power, water and legacy telecommunications projects by regulated utilities in the state.

Edit 5/13/20: This article has been corrected to reflect that the suit was filed in Lewis and Clark County.

The body that regulates electric utilities in Montana is asking a court to rule on what information it must disclose to news media outlets after they filed public records requests earlier this year.

A member of the council that regulates Montana energy utilities tried to officially censure a fellow commissioner this week. The two commissioners disagree over whether infighting stops them from doing their regulatory responsibility.

Editor's Note April 21, 2020: PSC counsel Zack Rogala's name was mispelled in a previous version of this article and has since been corrected.

A Montana regulatory body on Apr. 14 fell victim to an instance of teleconference hijacking, also called “zoombombing,” which interrupted public comment and delayed commissioners’ decision making.

The Montana Public Service Commission turned to remote teleconferencing in late March to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus. The commission has been using the popular Zoom platform to hold public meetings.

Campaign Beat: Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Aid And Climate Change

Apr 10, 2020

Gov. Bullock's complaint about the federal response to Montana's pandemic equipment needs yields results. Sen. Daines has a new campaign ad bragging about that aid. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Whitney Williams wants to have an online debate with her primary election opponent. Montana will have its first-ever statewide mail-in primary election. And in a close vote, the public service commission decides not to sponsor a forum on climate change.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.


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.

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