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The return of Montana's copper collar


Mark Twain is credited with saying, “History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” And so it is with SB 331, which is winding its way through the legislature. This bill authorizes NorthWest-ern Energy to buy more interest in old coal plants and automatically pass the costs, plus profit margin, onto their customers without review by the Public Service Commission. It also puts ratepayers on the hook for more of the decommissioning and cleanup costs in the future.

There have been a lot of articles and editorials warning of the pitfalls of this bill. Consumer advocates lined up to...

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