Montana’s energy future is quite uncertain, what courses of action would you support that would assure consumers of dependable and affordable energy in the future? Do you support the proposal of selling Montana hydro-power to Washington state?

Response written by Brad Molnar.

“Assuring” dependable and reliable energy is easy. Delivering dependable, reliable, and affordable energy is more difficult. Montana’s energy generation sector is constantly under attack by liberal state governments, federal regulations, and Montana taxes.

I served as the Vice Chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission. Two of Commission years were as Montana’s representative giving oversight of MISO, defending Montanan’s against predatory price fixing, and maintaining grid reliability in one of the world’s largest real time energy markets.  I also defended Montana’s coal generation against “green power only” states in the BPA service area. Since I term limited, Montana’s leadership in this arena has been symbolic at best.

In stark contrast, my opponent in this campaign, Sen. Tom Richmond, asked for a special committee hearing to pass his amendments to HB 22 to shut down Colstrip generation in ten years. The CSKT Water Compact transferred the Kerr Dam to the tribe after Montana rate payers had paid for it. That gave the tribe 200 MW of hydro power, of which they sold 40MW to serve the Seattle area. Those clean, baseload megawatts are no longer available to serve Montana’s families and employers. The Kerr Dam was “black start” capable. In a total electrical shut down Kerr Dam was our only capacity to re-start. Sen. Richmond voted to transfer Kerr Dam to the tribes via the CSKT water campact.

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