Trump Plan Won’t Save Montana Coal
The Billings Gazette reports that the Trump administration plan to kill the Obama-Era Clean Power Plan does little for Montana’s coal industry. Colstrip, the second-largest coal-fired power plant in the West, is facing opposition on various levels that will likely close the Montana plant long before the Clean Power Plan’s prescribed cuts to carbon dioxide emissions would have been realized anyway.
Under the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency called on states to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Montana’s prescribed cut was 47 percent, the largest cut expected of any state. Montana leaders balked at the requirement, saying it would kill the town of Colstrip, which is built around the power plant and the jobs it provides. Social and political pressure from voters in Oregon and Washington have pressured utilities with Colstrip ownership to make exit plans.