Through the years I spent a good deal of time working with the people of Butte. By the early 2000s, the city had been introduced to the "benefits" of deregulation. As a result, scores of loyal Montana Power employees were released after losing their pension plans and, for many, their life savings.
We, the customers, had lost our clean, dependable hydropower, which had provided ample electricity for our whole system. Then, in 2014, we repurchased the hydropower system for $870 million, a debt to obligate our children for years to come. This occurred due to bad governance and corporate greed.
Today, like many others, I am sounding the alarm about another corporate power play, SB 331. If passed, our nominal protector, the Public Service Commission, will abrogate its responsibility to the ratepayers. NorthWestern Energy, without restriction, will charge us whatever the please for an aged coal-burning power plant no longer wanted by Oregon or Washington. Afterwards we can pay hundreds of millions for remediation of the coal ash left behind.
Please contact your legislator and say no to corporate greed, to poor governance and to SB 331.
Kevin Wagner, Missoula