Colstrip Power Plant Closures Leave Behind Uncertainty and Fear Within the Community

Colstrip Power Plant Closures Leave Behind Uncertainty and Fear Within the Community

January 7, 2020

Last week, two of the Colstrip power plant’s four units ceased operation in Montana after almost fifty years.

Washington-based owners announced that due to a new clean energy law that requires utilities to phase out of coal by 2025, they’re pulling out of the plant financially by that year.

Residents met Saturday in the Colstrip High School auditorium to have an unofficial listening session on the closing of two power plant units of the state’s largest utility. Community members gathered to share their shock and sadness over the shutdowns and concerns on how difficult this will be on the community.

Montana Public Radio reports on the community members responses:

“It’s like losing a family member. They weren’t perfect but we loved them anyway. They’ve provided reliable power for 45 years but more than that, they’ve given people hundreds and thousands of people jobs from construction through every-day jobs. It’s a sad day. It’s very, very sad,” Becky Miller said.

Around 100 people worked at Units 1 and 2. Plant operator Talen Energy says those same employees may be applied to other shutdown activities at the units or reassigned to Units 3 and 4 as needed.

Community members shared their worst fears of residents leaving and the town depreciating due to the massive loss of jobs with no real solution for alternative work.

Middle-America is often left behind. Especially recently, by the eco-left who continue to propose legislation that directly tears down the infrastructure that keeps these small towns running.

Colstrip is just another example of policymakers making decisions without weighing the repercussions it would have on average Americans and the economic impacts on entire communities.