New York labor leader brings ideas for Colstrip – KTVQ, Nov. 19, 2016


By David Jay

BILLINGS – The closure of coal fired power plants in western New York may provide plans for potential closures in Colstrip.

That’s from a guest speaker at the Northern Plains Resource Council’s annual meeting at the Northern Hotel on Saturday.

Peter De Jesus, senior organizer for the Western New York Area Labor Federation, talked about corroborating.

He said Tonawanda, New York, could give Colstrip a template for environmentalists, labor groups and the community working together.

The group lobbied the New York legislature to approve funding for grants.

Colstrip potentially could experience losses similar to Tonawanda.

“The economic impact is very similar to what we’re experiencing in Tonawanda,” De Jesus said about Colstrip. “These coal plants are always strategically located around communities that depend on them. Depend on them very heavily. And when you take that source of revenue away, there are real life effects that are felt.”

In September, the Montana Legislature’s Interim Energy and Telecommunications Committee discussed and advanced proposed bills for the next session.

And the citizen’s group Colstrip United has been advocating the importance of the plants to its community.