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Power co-op urged to replace NorthWestern Energy


HELENA (AP) - Former state Commerce Director Gary Buchanan is urging formation of a statewide electric cooperative to take over NorthWestern Energy's utility business in Montana.

The Billings investment adviser, a strong critic of deregulation, says such a co-op is the state's last chance to escape from the problems that followed deregulation of the electric utility industry.

He wants state officials to take a ''brass-knuckles approach'' in dealing with NorthWestern Energy and its parent company, NorthWestern Corp. The South Dakota company is struggling financially, and Montana utility regu...

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