Seattle Times story about Colstrip
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Posted by David Schott (+12613) 7 months ago
Seattle Times: As Washington state looks for cleaner power, a Montana coal town faces an uncertain future


(Photo: Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

President Trump has promised to revive coal. But the fate of Colstrip, Montana, is tied to Western Washington and Oregon, where utilities — under pressure from customers who want clean energy — are turning their backs on coal.

By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter

COLSTRIP, Montana — In a small town sustained by coal, Rex Rogers has been an unusual union leader.

He believes in the science that links fossil-fuel combustion to climate change, and dared to talk about that during monthly meetings with plant workers whose paychecks depend on turning strip-mined coal into electricity.

Change was on the way, Rogers said, and the community needed to prepare: Puget Sound Energy (PSE) — the plant’s largest owner — was planning a phased shutdown amid a shift toward cheaper, cleaner sources of power.

Then last year, President Donald Trump took office with a pledge to revive the coal industry, stirring fresh hopes in Colstrip. Rogers fell out of favor with plant workers, losing — in a close summer vote — his job as business manager for Local 1638 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

“A lot of people in Colstrip are not willing to admit that the shutdowns are going to happen. They think the Trump administration is going to save them,” Rogers said.

In Colstrip, it is indeed hard to imagine life after the coal plant that dominates the skyline and sends giant plumes of steam into the crisp winter air. Coal has made this southeastern Montana town of some 2,200 people a showcase of rural prosperity.



“You ain’t going to morph Colstrip into something else,” says Montana state Sen. Duane Ankney, a staunch defender of Colstrip and its coal economy. He once earned his living helping to process the coal mined outside of town. (Photo: Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

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Read more here.
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2918) 7 months ago
The Seattle Times article about Colstrip reads, in part, “ As coal’s fortunes have declined, it has become harder to wrest profits from the Colstrip plant in a region flush with other sources of power. Talen Montana, the owner charged with operating the plant, has lost millions trying to sell Colstrip power, according to Dale Lebsack, a Talen senior vice president.”

Basically, the problem Colstrip is having is the result of free market capitalism as Colstrip’s coal fired production of electricity is not competitive with natural gas and renewable energy. Electricity from wind is being produced below 3 cents per kilowatt hour. Energy from coal costs over 6 cents per kilowatt hour and is not competitive on the electricity market – And, that is why Talen is losing money and wants to close the power plants at Colstrip.

The world is moving to renewable energy for a variety of reasons. Take a look at these videos to learn why and what is happening, and what will be happening in the future.

Thomas Van Dyck: “The Clean Energy Revolution” Bioneers, 2017


The Rise of Renewable Energy Worldwide is Accelerating:


Check out what other communities in the U.S. are doing.
“A Renewable Energy Revolution in Small-Town America”
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2918) 7 months ago
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Posted by The man from snowy plains (-214) 7 months ago
The people from Colstrip I known over the years all say Rex Rogers and Duane Ankney are lazy bums, both dumber than a box of rocks.
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2918) 7 months ago
This article was also in last night's Miles City Star.

"U.S. Utilities Find Water Pollution at Coal Ash Dumps: Major utilities are finding evidence of groundwater contamination at coal-burning power plants across the U.S. where landfills and man-made ponds have been used for decades as dumping grounds for coal ash" by Matthew Brown and Sarah Rankin, Associated Press, March 2, 2018.

https://www.usnews.com/ne...-ash-sites

Also, one hopeful economic and energy outlook for Colstrip would be if a wind energy development project happened there in the near future. The electrical lines transmissions lines are already in place to transmit the electrons. Let's hope for some good news for Colstrip along these lines in the near future.
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Posted by The man from snowy plains (-214) 7 months ago
No chance in he'll will the ranchers around Colstip will let wind or solar on there. They already got their hush money for the ash ponds and the surface reclamation land is 10 times more productive than before, plus they have far more livestock water than they ever had. Plus the Nor would Northern Cheyenne allow it without a big bribe..for crying outload MCD McCreas, Cluvers are the Original founders of the Northern Plaines Resourse Council. They have more environmental clout in the western states than the Sierra Club..you should know that, what wind turbine did you fall off of.
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2918) 7 months ago
"Nearly a dozen Montana state officials traveled from Helena to Colstrip last week for the second meeting of the community impact advisory group tasked with creating a plan for using $10 million from Puget Sound Energy to help transition the city to a future with reduced coal-fired power production."

Read more at:

"Diversification in Colstrip's Future" Billings Gazette, March 9, 2018

http://billingsgazette.co...d8ce9.html
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Posted by The man from snowy plains (-214) 7 months ago
Colstrip will make a great retirement community. Like they did in Forsyth with the air force base.
But you can bet, a wind or solar farm won't be in the future. None of the local ranchers would allow it unless it was deemed Imminent Domain! They've been down that road. Furthermore your knowledge of anything to do with energy is pretty much over your head past the HORSE and Buggy days. Anybody can post a NEWS article. BS IN = BS OUT
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2918) 7 months ago
Hey, Snowy, as the [i]Billings Gazette[/i[ article (cited above) says, there will be lots of jobs cleaning up the environmental mess in Colstrip!

Here's a quote from the article:

"As the strategy document said, 'there’s no silver bullet' solution for Colstrip and the surrounding region, but multiple ideas can be used to build a more diverse economy that preserves Colstrip as a thriving community. For example, as an estimated 100 plant jobs disappear with the shutdown of Units 1 and 2, hundreds of jobs will be created in cleaning up those two plants for years to come.

Meanwhile, the environmental cleanup of ash pond leakage is expected to require work at least until 2049 — 30 years into the future, according to the latest DEQ projection. The task is huge; It’s been estimated that 200 million gallons of polluted water per year leak from the ponds that hold ash from all four Colstrip plants."



So, I'm thinking Colstrip is going to be okay in the future -- and a lot cleaner!
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Posted by The man from snowy plains (-214) 7 months ago
Frankly MCD, I look to see investors buy out Puget, then with rational stake holders and more Trump typical rational EPA rulings over the next 6 years and beyond, Montana rate payers my just enjoy a few more decades of fairly reasonable electricity rates. Wind and Solar sure won't replace the coal generation the western states supply.
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Posted by The man from snowy plains (-214) 7 months ago
https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Nebraska-Rules-TransCanada-Off-The-Hook-In-Eminent-Domain-Case.html

This is one of OBAMA ERA biting the dust in Nebraska this week held up in the Courts. DON'T think it is the last pie in the ski too bite the dust.
I actually ran into a couple while eating dinner from Nebraska farm country. A nice elderly couple with generations on their farm.
They said the OBAMA protesters did more damage than the XL pipeline ever did or could do.
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Posted by The man from snowy plains (-214) 7 months ago
MCD, here is a research assignments for you. List by Town/State of coal generation and Megawatts on just the Rocky Mountain States. Then add all that generation together and tell me just as a rate payer how much more is my 3 phase electric motor is going too be affordable. Then just drive up and down the Yellowstone River and count the Irrigation Pivots.
Then tell me what the electric source will be the next 40 years. Yup you guessed it.
Put a Hydro dam on the Yellowstone...Welcome to Ag Country Stormy MCD..thats who votes every election, and they clout with their business center communities.
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1157) 7 months ago
Put a dam(n) downstream of Livingston! Anything to break up that wind. I'm all about it
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