SB 379, introduced by Steve Fitzpatrick (R-Great Falls), is NorthWestern Energy’s “billion dollar boondoggle bill.” This bill would allow NorthWestern Energy to put customers on the hook for all of the business costs and risks associated with the aging Colstrip power plant while removing oversight from the Public Service Commission (PSC). This could include up to $1.9 billion in new Colstrip ownership shares, with no guarantees that Colstrip would even stay operational in the coming years.
Currently, NorthWestern has to go to the PSC to make their case for why any costs related to Colstrip should be passed on to customers. The PSC then decides whether or not those costs are fair and in the public’s interest. SB 379 would eliminate this process and allow NorthWestern to automatically put customers on the hook for the costs of new Colstrip ownership shares as well as costs associated with operations, repairs, replacement power, closure, and cleanup with no oversight. It’s a bad deal for NorthWestern Energy customers across Montana.
Please sign on to our petition letting legislators know customers shouldn’t be on the hook for billions of dollars so that NWE shareholders can make a pretty penny. (You can also download this document to learn more about the bill.)