Candidates plug in to state’s energy future

While the news may not have been shocking, the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates presented their thoughts on Montana’s energy future on Wednesday to members of the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association. Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock said during a 15-minute speech that Montana needs to be in the driver’s seat for its energy future, and seek a right balance between renewable energy and coal-produced power. Republican challenger Greg Gianforte, in a 45-minute segment later in the day that included questions from the audience, called for ways to save the Colstrip coal-fire plant in the wake of news that two of Colstrip’s four coal-fired electricity-generating units will close by 2022 under a legal settlement reached last month between the plant’s owners and environmentalists.

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