Senate Republicans moved forward Tuesday with a bill shielding NorthWestern Energy from financial losses associated with the Colstrip Power Plant. Senate Bill 379 obligates customers of the utility to pay off the undepreciated book value of the power plant regardless of whether it continues to operate. The bill also provides a formula for determining the customer debt for additional shares rather than basing the debt on what NorthWestern actually paid for additional ownership. According to the Billings Gazette’s Tom Lutey, it is expected to get another vote in the Senate today before being transmitted to the House.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester has been holding listening sessions this week with current VA Secretary Denis McDonough and hopes to put them to good use.