10.28.16

Daines Demands Transparency Around Colstrip Closure

BOZEMAN, Mont. — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today demanded transparency around the closure of Colstrip Units 1 and 2 to provide certainty to hardworking Montana families who rely on good-paying jobs at Colstrip. 

In a letter to Paul Farr, the President and CEO of Talen Energy Corporation, Daines sought clarification if a decision had already been made to close Colstrip Units 1 and 2 at the earliest opportunity in 2017 and if the disclosure of this decision is being withheld.  

Daines requested Farr to confirm that:

  1. No decision by Talen has been made to close these facilities in 2017 or any other future date;
  2. No communication has occurred with the State of Montana regarding any closure date or timeframe that has not also been disclosed to the general public; and,
  3. The families and communities affected will be notified at least 24 months in advance of any closure date. 

A response was requested within the week. 

Daines’ letter is available to download HERE and below: 

Dear Mr. Farr: 

Four months ago Montanans and the Colstrip community were disappointed to learn that Units 1 and 2 of the Colstrip power plant must be closed “on or before July 1, 2022” due to lawsuits from fringe environmental groups. As you know, Colstrip Units 1 and 2 employ 200 people, provide over $17 million in tax revenue to state and local governments, and provide many Montanans and major industrial businesses affordable and reliable electricity. Absent this power, these consumers and families must begin to plan for other options. 

However, some of my constituents are concerned that a decision has already been made to close Units 1 and 2 at the earliest opportunity in 2017 and that the disclosure of this decision is being delayed until early next year.

Given the impact this closure will have on the way of life of these Montanans, I am confident that we share the following objectives: first, to keep Units 1 and 2 open as long as possible, allowing the greatest amount of transition time; and second, to be open and transparent with all those impacted about any plans to close Units 1 and 2 in advance of July 1, 2022

On behalf of the hardworking Montana families that would be impacted by a secret decision, I request that you confirm that:

  • No decision by Talen has been made to close these facilities in 2017 or any other future date;
  • No communication has occurred with the State of Montana regarding any closure date or timeframe that has not also been disclosed to the general public; and
  • The families and communities affected will be notified at least 24 months in advance of any closure date.

I am determined to work together to keep Units 1 and 2 open as long as agreement allows. I look forward to a response within the next week. 

###