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Energy & Telecommunications Committee August Update


Posted Date: 
August 1, 2012
Contact: 
Sonja Nowakowski, Committee Staff

ETIC Acts on Coal Trains, Electric Co-ops

The Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee is moving forward with legislative proposals related to rural electric cooperatives and Montana’s renewable portfolio standard. The committee also is weighing in on the debate about the potential for increased coal train traffic in Montana.

The ETIC met July 16-17 in Billings. On July 17, it hosted a discussion on the potential of increased coal train traffic in Montana. U.S. coal producers and suppliers are examining opportunities to increase coal production from mines in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming. That coal would be shipped by train to coal export terminals in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. There has been a growing demand for coal shipments to Asian markets. Nine new coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest have been discussed, and two are moving forward in the permitting process.

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Sonja Nowakowski | (406) 444-307 | snowakowski@mt.gov