Proponents of Senate Bill 208 line up to testify in favor of the measure at the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee on Jan. 31, 2023.

Montana bill seeks to preemptively prohibit bans on energy sources

BY: - January 31, 2023

Republican lawmakers in Montana want to preemptively stop any local governments from banning various energy sources amid a national conversation about gas stove bans, even though no local governments are considering such a prohibition, the sponsor said Tuesday. More than a dozen proponents spoke in favor of Senate Bill 208, sponsored by Sen. Jason Small, […]

New U.S. House Natural Resources chairman opposes limits on fossil fuel development

BY: - January 30, 2023

The incoming chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee wants to allow more mining and believes technology — not limitations on fossil fuel production — is the best way to address climate change. As part of their organization of the chamber they now control, U.S. House Republicans selected Arkansas’ Bruce Westerman to lead the […]

States that limit business with banks that ‘boycott’ fossil fuels could pay high cost

BY: - January 30, 2023

Republican state policymakers’ efforts to boost fossil fuels by prohibiting their governments from doing business with companies that take sustainability into consideration has the potential to cost states millions, according to a study released Thursday. Researchers looked specifically at the possible effects on Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and West Virginia if they passed Texas-like legislation limiting […]

GOP U.S. House passes bill opening more public land to development if reserve oil is tapped

BY: - January 28, 2023

U.S. House Republicans passed a bill Friday to force the White House to make more federal land and waters available for oil and gas development if the president orders the withdrawal of more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The bill, passed 221-205, mostly along party lines, would strip the president’s power to remove oil from […]

Bill to repeal Montana’s energy policy up for third reading in House, other updates

BY: - January 23, 2023

Here’s the status of some of the legislation the Daily Montanan has covered this session so far. Follow bills through the Montana Legislature’s website.  A bill to repeal Montana’s energy policy is up for its third reading on the House floor Monday. It passed 67-32 on second reading. The energy policy was first adopted in […]

Northwestern Energy acquires Avista Energy share of Colstrip, effective 2026

BY: - January 17, 2023

HELENA —“I may be the only CEO in the utility industry adding coal to his portfolio,” said President and CEO of Northwestern Energy Brian Bird at the Great Northern Hotel Monday night. Northwestern Energy announced it signed a contract Monday acquiring all of Avista Energy in the active units in Colstrip, meaning Montana coal power […]

U.S. House passes legislation barring sales of strategic reserve oil to China

BY: - January 12, 2023

U.S. House Republicans wrapped up their first week in the majority Thursday by passing with bipartisan support a bill to prohibit the Energy Department from selling the nation’s stockpile of crude oil to China or affiliated entities. The bill, written by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Washington, would prevent releases […]

As another winter storm strains the electric grid, it’s time to fix transmission, experts say

BY: - January 7, 2023

The deadly winter storm, christened “Elliott” by the Weather Channel, that tore through much of the United States over the Christmas weekend placed a huge strain on the American electric grid, pushing it past the breaking point in some places. Frigid temperatures, in some places setting records, drove a surge in electric demand while also […]

Rule would ‘muzzle’ Montana Consumer Counsel, but Fitzpatrick said he’s changed his mind

BY: - December 21, 2022

A Montana lawmaker who planned to restrict the ability of the state’s utility consumer advocate to testify to the legislature said Wednesday he plans to reverse course. Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, R-Great Falls, said he already has drafted an amendment to undo one he proposed earlier — and legislative committee adopted — to limit the authority […]

Scientists announce a fusion breakthrough with big implications for clean energy

BY: - December 17, 2022

Scientists at a U.S. national laboratory announced Tuesday that they achieved fusion ignition, a breakthrough decades in the making that could have major implications for clean energy. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco said that on Dec. 5, for the first time anywhere in the world, they managed to produce more […]

As utilities spend billions on transmission, support builds for independent monitoring

BY: - November 24, 2022

An aging electric grid, fossil fuel power plant retirements and a massive renewable electricity buildout are all contributing to a boom in transmission and distribution wire projects by electric utilities across the country. In 2020, investor-owned electric utilities spent $25 billion on transmission, up from $23.7 billion in 2019, figures that the Edison Electric Institute, […]

Coal plant operators shirking responsibilities on ash cleanup, report contends

BY: - November 5, 2022

In the wake of major coal ash spills from power plant containment ponds in Tennessee and into the Dan River along the North Carolina and Virginia border, the federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2015 laid out the first federal rules for managing the ash, one of the nation’s largest waste streams, and the toxins it […]