BILLINGS (AP) — A White House plan to address climate change by reducing carbon dioxide pollution would have a magnified impact in coal-rich Montana and consequences for both mining and electricity generation.
Draft rules for power plants unveiled Monday call for Montana to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 21 percent by 2030.
Montana has the largest coal reserves in the U.S. — almost 120 billion tons of the fuel. It's also home to the second largest coal-fired power plant west of the Mississippi at Colstrip, a 2,100-megawatt plant run by PPL Montana.
Supporters say the emission cuts are needed to stave off rising temperatures that are spurring more forest fires and depleting rivers.
Critics including Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines warned the new rules could endanger mining jobs and drive up electricity prices.