MTN News: Daines kicks off “Made-in-Montana Energy Tour” in Laurel

With the future of the Colstrip Power Plants now in question, Montana’s U.S. Sen. Steve Daines is taking his energy fight on the road on a statewide tour to promote what he calls “Made-in-Montana Energy.”

The Republican Senator kicked off his 10 city tour Monday in Laurel at the CHS Refinery.

“This refinery relies on Colstrip for its electricity. Sixty percent of the electricity of this refinery comes from Colstrip, so I think it also highlights the importance of Colstrip and the coal industry here in the state,” said Daines.

Daines said his goal is to underscore the importance of Montana’s energy and how losing Colstrip will impact the state’s economic future. 

“It would be devastating to our state. It’s a loss of 7,000 jobs. It’s a loss of $500 million a year of economic activity. It’s $140 million a year in loss of taxes that go to our schools and our teachers. And it will be a double-digit increase in our utility bills. Basically, the people who can afford it the least are going to be hurt the most and that’s why we must keep fighting here to save Colstrip, to save these Montana energy jobs,” Daines told a group of about 50 people at the refinery.

“Energy jobs pay two and three times the state average in terms of wages, and those are good wages, good paying jobs that Montana families can live on,” said Daines. “It’s important for the taxes we pay to support our schools, teachers and infrastructure. We have an abundance of energy here in Montana, but it’s under threat by the Obama Administration’s regulations that may shutdown Colstrip units one, two, three and four.”

In addition to his stop in Laurel, Daines also traveled to Colstrip and Miles City on Monday.                                             

His energy tour also includes stops in Baker, Glendive, Sidney, Great Falls, Missoula, Helena, Butte and Bozeman this week.