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Energy & Telecommunications Committee October Update


Posted Date: 
October 2, 2012
Contact: 
Sonja Nowakowski, Committee Staff

ETIC Approves Three Committee Bills

The Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee will bring three pieces of legislation before the 2013 Montana Legislature.

The committee met Sept. 7 and wrapped up its interim work. Members completed their review of Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative Inc. and its recent bankruptcy and reorganization. The committee has proposed legislation that imposes voting requirements on rural electric cooperatives prior to making certain decisions. The legislation also adds a series of disclosure requirements to increase transparency for rural electric cooperatives in Montana. The draft is LC 346.

The committee also approved legislation to expand the definition of “eligible renewable resource” in Montana’s renewable portfolio standard to include hydroelectric project expansions. The ETIC brought a similar proposal before the 2011 Legislature, which approved the measure. However, Gov. Schweitzer vetoed the bill. The committee agreed to amendments proposed by the Public Service Commission that clarify how additional hydroelectric capacity is calculated. The committee also agreed to make the legislation retroactive, so expansions completed after Dec. 31, 2010, would be included. The draft is LC 345.

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