Public Service Commission

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Hardin could lose coal-fired power plant early in 2018


Editor’s note: This story has been updated. A Hardin coal-fired power plant with 30 employees and an annual payroll of $3 million could be shut down as early as the first quarter of 2018, according to the company that owns it. In an Oct. 5 letter to the Montana Public Service Commission, Gary Arneson, vice president of operations for Rocky Mountain Power, said the company “has decided to exit the Hardin Generating Station.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Renewable energy program, already shaky, may be killed


A state program that requires utilities to buy from small-scale, locally owned renewable energy projects in Montana is facing a do-or-die moment in Helena. Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, is pushing Senate Bill 78, which would eliminate the Community Renewable Energy Projects program. The bill passed a final vote last week in the Senate 30-19 and now moves into the House of Representatives. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Kavulla explains water compact in WSJ


Travis Kavulla, vice chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission, gives readers of the Wall Street Journal a good, straightforward explanation of the comprehensive water compact with the Salish and Kootenai tribes in northwestern Montana. I can’t pretend to understand all the ins and outs of the voluminous, complex compact, but Kavulla makes a good case that it makes the best of a very difficult situation. Here’s a key part of his piece:
Even as whites resisted quantifying water use, the Salish and Kootenai tribal government hired a small army of hydrologists to measure theirs and anthropologists to document the historic range of their people. Since the 1980s, they have been compiling a meticulous record, preparing for the day when they would have to prove their claims in court. With the compact, that water war doesn’t need to be fought, saysHertha Lund, an attorney representing large irrigators on the reservation. Continue Reading →

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