Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who presides over a state that is heavily reliant on both coal-fired power and coal production out of the northern end of the Powder River Basin, said Jan. 5 that he has appointed a twenty-seven member Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council.
The council will gather information and provide recommendations on policies and actions necessary for Montana to keep control over its energy future, protecting Montana’s economy and quality of life. The council will review applicable memoranda and guidance, information on rate and mass-based compliance tools, economic and reliability modeling, and the work of other states and entities.
This relates to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, published on Oct. 23, 2015, and now subject to numerous appeals in federal court. This plan calls for 32% greenhouse gas reductions from existing power plants by 2030, with an initial compliance deadline of 2022. The plan sets various goals for each state, with each state to file with EPA an implementation plan outlining how it plans to comply.
At the conclusion of its process, the Montana council will make recommendations to Montana Department of Environmental Quality regarding the filing of an initial submittal with EPA.
“Done right, a Montana plan will drive economic growth and create and maintain good-paying jobs across Montana. It will improve upon our traditional base of energy generation while sparking a new generation of clean technology business, moving us to more renewable energy, and encouraging innovation, savings and energy efficiency for homes and businesses,” said Bullock.
Montana’s requirement for reduction of CO2 emissions from the draft version of the Clean Power Plan to the final one published Oct. 23 significantly increased to 47%. Bullock said Montana’s coal industry will most notably face the stiffest challenges in the years ahead. Finding creative solutions that support the coal industry, as well as growing jobs in energy efficiency and the renewable energy sector, are vital steps to to the future and to protecting Montana’s clean air and water.
The Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council members include:
- Senator Duane Ankney, Colstrip, MT – Senate District 20, member of the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee
- Carl Borquist, Bozeman, MT – Founder and President, Absaroka Energy LLC
- Hon. Kirk Bushman, Billings, MT – Montana Public Service Commission member
- Chris Christiaens, Great Falls MT – Legislative and Project Specialist, Montana Farmers Union
- Gordon Criswell, Hysham, MT – Director, Environmental & Engineering Compliance, Talen Montana (which runs the coal-fired Colstrip power plant)
- Al Ekblad, Great Falls, MT – Executive Secretary of the Montana State AFL-CIO
- Gary Forrester, Billings, MT – Government Affairs, MDU Resources
- Dave Galt, Helena, MT – private consultant specializing in energy and natural resources issues, immediate past Executive Director of the Montana Petroleum Association
- Paul Gatzmeier, Billings, MT – a small business owner with extensive natural resource and energy background
- Kathy Hadley, Deer Lodge, MT – Executive Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and President of the Montana Wildlife Federation
- Doug Hardy, Great Falls, MT – General Manager of the Central Montana Electric Power Cooperative
- Britt Ide, Bozeman, MT – Principal, Ide Law & Strategy LLC, private practice attorney specializing in energy, consensus-building, and innovation
- Senator Jim Keane, Butte, MT – Senate District 38, member of the Environmental Quality Council
- Lorna Luebbe, Bellevue, WA – Director of Environmental Services/Assistant General Counsel, Puget Sound Energy
- Chuck Magraw, Helena, MT – private practice attorney specializing in energy issues
- Chairman Darrin Old Coyote, Crow Agency, MT – Chairman, Crow Tribe (a major owner of coal reserves in Montana)
- Jim Orchard, Broomfield, CO – Senior Vice President, Marketing & Government Affairs, Cloud Peak Energy (has a Montana coal mine)
- Bill Pascoe, Absarokee, MT – Principal, Pascoe Energy Consulting, representing a broad diversity of clients in energy matters.
- Senator Mike Phillips, Bozeman, MT – Senate District 31, member of the Environmental Quality Council
- Sunny Radcliffe, Portland, OR – Director, Governmental Affairs & Environmental Policy, Portland General Electric
- Diego Rivas, Helena, MT – Senior Policy Associate, Northwest Energy Coalition
- John Roeber, Butte, MT – Officer President, Montana State Building & Construction Trades Council, and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
- Rex Rogers, Colstrip, MT – IBEW Local 1638 Business Manager
- Tom Schneider, Helena, MT – Consultant specializing in energy issues, former three-term Montana Public Service Commissioner
- Darrell Soyars, Spokane, WA – Manager of Corporate Environmental Compliance, Avista Corp.
- Pat Sweeney, Billings, MT – Senior Advisor to the Western Organization of Resource Councils
- William Thompson, Butte, MT – Senior Technical Advisor/Engineer, NorthWestern Energy.