WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement in response to PPL Montana’s announcement that it will permanently close the J.E. Corette coal-fired power plant in Billings, Montana.
“Once again, good-paying American jobs are falling ruin to the Obama administration’s war on American energy. The closing of the Corette power plant isn’t just a blow to Montana’s economy – it’s devastating news to the Montana families who rely on the plant for a stable income,” Daines stated. “The EPA’s misguided agenda doesn’t just hurt Montana’s coal industry— it directly affects thousands of Montana families, union workers and tribal members who rely on coal for good-paying jobs and reliable, affordable energy. I’ll continue fighting to stop the Obama administration’s war on coal and support the thousands of Montanans who rely on this resource every day.”
In addition to supporting 30 jobs, the Corette power plant contributes several million dollars in tax revenue to Montana and Yellowstone County every year.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new emissions regulations, known as Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), in 2011, which placed costly compliance requirements on numerous coal-fired power plants, including Corette.
PPL made the decision in 2012 to mothball the Corette plant, which allowed the company to retain the option to restart plant operations at a future date. According to PPL, the estimated costs of upgrades required to make the plant compliant with the MATS regulations has increased significantly since 2012, which led to the company’s decision to permanently retire the plant in August.