Don't Let NorthWestern Energy Keep the Costs of Colstrip Hidden!

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350 Montana
350 Montana signed this petition

NorthWestern Energy wants to purchase majority ownership in Colstrip-4, an aging coal-fired electric generator in eastern Montana. The climate impacts will be severe because Colstrip is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases in the West.The company is the only utility in the United States expanding its use of coal.

Colstrip-1 and 2 have already closed. All the other owners of Colstrip-3 and 4 are pulling out, moving to cheaper, renewable energy. They have set aside millions of dollars for environmental cleanup and worker retraining.

NorthWestern Energy wants operate Colstrip-4 for another 25 years.

The good news is the company must justify its acquisition and the costs to the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC), a five-member, elected panel charged with protecting Montana consumers.

The bad news is the company wants to keep the details secret, filing a "protective order" with the PSC and claiming the costs, including the costs of its more expensive coal contract, should be confidential.

It's time for Montana citizens to tell NorthWestern Energy to disclose the details of the acquisition and the price we will be paying to operate the antiquated plant.

Please contact Tina Shorten, the manager of the consumer assistance program at the PSC, and tell her the PSC commissioners should deny NorthWestern Energy’s request to hide the details of doubling down on coal. Tell her Montanans deserve to know what we will have to pay for coal and all the other costs. Tell her the PSC should make NorthWestern Energy do a transparent study comparing the costs with other electricity options, like wind and solar, which are rapidly declining in price.