In The News


Billings Gazette: As coal and gas prices slide, renewable energy getting a second look

Corey Sell's firm launched three decades ago to service the Colstrip power plant and mine, but the co-owner of CEI Electrical Contractors isn't as worried now as people might think. In recent years, CEI, whose offices in Billings and Colstrip are in the heart of Montana's coal country, has seen its biggest work demand from the wind-energy industry. CEI services the giant turbines, nacelles and other equipment that dot hillsides of wind farms in several states. Sell is a Colstrip native… Continue Reading


Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Steve Daines Editorial Montana’s energy jobs are under assault

Made-in-Montana energy means good Montana jobs that on average pay two to three times more than the state average. Montana's ability to create more good-paying energy jobs is immense. In fact, our state leads the nation in coal deposits. We are the nation's fifth-largest producer of hydropower, with 23 hydroelectric dams across our state, and fifth in wind energy potential. Montana is at the center stage of the national energy debate and provides the nation a template of a true all-of-the-a… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: U.S. energy renaissance is here to stay, says ConocoPhillips CEO

The same kind of innovative spirit that helped the United States regain the title of the world's leader in oil and gas production will also help the industry weather current market downturns, says the chairman and chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips. Over the past decade, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unleashed a flood of new oil and gas production in the United States. Despite a year-long decline in prices, "The U.S. energy renaissance is here to stay," said Ryan … Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: Talk turns to utilities as alternatives to closing Colstrip units

The backburner issue simmering for weeks about the potential closure of Units 1 and 2 of the Colstrip power plant was how the oil refineries, silicon plants and mining companies that buy electricity directly from those units would be affected. Those industry buyers, known in utility jargon as "large customers," began hinting a few weeks ago of job losses and rising consumer prices for things like gasoline if cheap Colstrip power from Units 1 and 2 went away. Those two units, the oldest… Continue Reading


Laurel County Leader: Polson graduate appointed to Merchant Marine Academy

Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines announced last week that a recent graduate of Polson High School was accepted to the prestigious U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Nicholas Becker, 19, received a full appointment to the Merchant Marine Academy. A Big Arm resident, Becker served on his high school's Board of Governors, played tennis, lacrosse, and skied throughout his high school career. Tester and Daines spoke with Becker and congratulated him on his appointment. "Nicholas will make Montana a… Continue Reading


Laurel Outlook: Energy is focus on several fronts in March

The Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative's breakfast, Thursday, March 24, highlighted the need for electricity generators to be innovative and flexible in face of new regulations which will go into effect as the EPA implements the Clean Power Plan in an effort to reduce carbon emissions in the form of CO2, a by-product of coal combustion and contributor to global warming. Basin Electric Power Cooperative (YVEC's parent company) is somewhat reluctantly making plans to transition to cleaner m… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: New take on clean coal technology presented at Montana Energy Conference

BILLINGS -- Numerous efforts to squeeze clean-burning fuels from coal have hit the drawing board ever since OPEC started flexing its muscles in the 1970s. After years of research, scientists and engineers have learned that converting coal into liquid and gaseous fuels is expensive and far from environmentally benign. But a different take of clean-coal technology was presented Tuesday during the opening day of the three-day Montana Energy Conference in Billings. The concept, presented b… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: Stalled economy costing rail jobs, BNSF chairman tells energy conference

A top railroad executive said Wednesday in Billings that declining oil prices and coal demand have thrust his industry into depths not seen since the Great Recession. Matthew Rose, chairman of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, told The Gazette during the Montana Energy conference that about 4,600 railroad employees are furloughed nationwide, about 10 percent of the workforce. These are roughly the same levels as in 2007 and 2008 when the economy began falling off a cliff, he said. Volumes … Continue Reading


KUMV: Montana Energy Conference Takes Look at Energy Potential

The Montana Energy 2016 kicked off today in Billings, and many political and business leaders attended the event. The three day occasion will feature panel discussions and keynote addresses from some of the industry's top experts. The summit features an all-encompassing look at Montana's energy potential. "We need made in America energy, not made in the Middle East energy. We don't need these Washington D.C. regulations that are defining our future here in Montana, instead of letting Montanan… Continue Reading


KTVH: Daines “Made in Montana” tour stops at the Hauser Dam

(MTN News-Helena) Senator Steve Daines continued his statewide "Made in Montana" energy tour this morning with a stop at the Hauser Dam. Daines is using the tour to criticize clean energy regulations that he says will cost Montana jobs and affordable energy. He says Montana has a diverse energy portfolio and he intends to keep it that way. Daines also says hydro-electric facilities like Hauser are great sources of reliable and low-cost energy production which are under attack. The senator wan… Continue Reading


MTN News: Sen. Daines visits welding program at Great Falls College-MSU

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) visited with welding students and instructors on Wednesday at Great Falls College-MSU during his state-wide "Made in Montana" energy tour. The 10 days on the road focus on the importance of producing local energy while promoting Montana's future jobs in related fields including coal, oil, and natural gas. Daines says Montana's economic goal is to employ and maintain in-state workers with two-year degrees and certificates like the welding program offered at Gr… Continue Reading


MTN News: Sen. Daines talks about "Made In Montana" energy

With the future of the Colstrip Power Plants now in question, U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) is taking his energy fight on the road on a statewide tour to promote what he calls "Made in Montana Energy." The Republican kicked off his 10 city tour Monday in Laurel at the CHS Refinery on Monday, and on Wednesday, he visited KRTV. 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… Continue Reading


ABC Fox: Congressional office opens in Sidney

The first ever Congressional office opened in Sidney March 22. The office of Senator Steve Daines will be staffed by Sidney native Nate Williams. Graduating from Sidney High School in 2004, Williams enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving for six years. After three overseas deployments he enrolled at the University of Montana, graduating with degrees in economics, political science, and a minor in Arabic. The new office will allow Daines to better serve eastern Montana by operating i… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: CHS: Montanans will pay more for fuel if Colstrip power exits

A Montana oil refinery says it will lose a key power supplier if Colstrip is shuttered. CHS Inc., which refines oil in Laurel, gets more than half its power from Colstrip Power Plant, which faces an uncertain future as power companies in the Pacific Northwest prepare to dump coal-generated electricity and tighten pollution controls under the Clean Power Plan to address climate change. It was the Clean Power Plan that Patrick Kimmet, Laurel Refinery vice president cited Monday while mee… Continue Reading


Miles City: MCC on Daines’ energy tour

United States Sen. Steve Daines stopped in Miles City Monday evening to tour Miles Community College's Heavy Equipment Operations program. Daines has been traveling around the state to promote made-in-Montana energy and the good-paying jobs it supports. The tour will include the Montana Energy Summit 2016 on March 29-31 in Billings. He expects around 500 people at the conference to talk about the future of energy in Montana. Daines met with MCC President Stacy Klippenstein, among others, in J… Continue Reading


KMMS: Montana Energy 2016 Next Week in Billings

The Montana Energy 2016 conference will take place March 29 - 31 in Billings. For the full agenda, including speakers, panelists and continuing education sessions is now available here. Montana Energy 2016 will serve as the largest venue to discuss Montana's energy potential. Led by Senator Steve Daines, the comprehensive conference will continue the discussion around state and national energy opportunities and provide an all-encompassing look at Montana's energy potential. More information a… Continue Reading


Yellowstone Public Radio: CHS Refinery Depends On Colstrip For Electricity, Manager Says

Senator Steve Daines is spending the next two weeks highlighting the energy needs of Montana businesses, and advocating for policies that protect the state's fossil fuel industries, including coal interests that are facing significant challenges. Daines kicked off what he's calling his Montana Energy tour today with a stop at the CHS refinery in Laurel. CHS Refinery Manager Pat Kimmet puts into perspective how important electricity is to the Laurel facility. "$18 million for power and $15 mill… Continue Reading


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… Continue Reading


ABC Fox: 'Montana is leading the nation': Senator Steve Daines to host Montana Energy 2016 conference

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) is set to host a conference discussing the future of energy in the treasure state. Energy is big business in Montana, but the future of the industry is less certain than it has been in a long time. "It's not just about our state," says Sen. Daines. "It's how our state can have an impact on the entire nation and the world." Montana Energy 2016 kicks off in a week. The meeting will take place in Billings and look at the state's energy potential with fresh perspecti… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: Montana Energy conference coming to Billings

A full schedule is available at . The panelists and speakers have been set for one of Montana's largest energy industry trade meetings, held March 29 to March 31 at the Radisson Hotel in Billings. U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., announced Friday the panel lineup for the three-day conference, which will features leaders in industry and government. Eight panel sessions will be held, covering infrastructure needs, energy policy, renewables, export markets, re… Continue Reading

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