BILLINGS, Mont. — Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte is accusing Washington Gov. Jay Inslee of “extinguishing” the livelihoods of residents in a Montana town by seeking to ban coal-fired electricity in his state.
The Billings Gazette reports Montana Republican confronted the Washington Democrat Tuesday over southeastern Montana’s Colstrip power plant during a House Energy Committee hearing about climate change.
The Colstrip plant provides electricity to the Pacific Northwest and Montana. Washington lawmakers are considering a bill to remove carbon-based fuels from its energy supply within 25 years.
Gianforte says that would devastate the town of Colstrip and be a major blow to Montana’s economy.
Inslee, who is running for president in 2020, suggested Colstrip should follow the model for Centralia, Washington, where a transition plan is in place for a coal plant scheduled to retire next year.