Montana PSC head vows to kill power line project

LAUREL, MONTANA - A southern Montana member of the state Public Service Commission is vowing to kill a proposed NorthWestern Energy transmission line into Idaho, saying it will be used to drain power from Montana for use in other states.

Brad Molnar, a Republican from Laurel, says Montana customers will wind up buying power on the open market from states where it's more expensive to produce, such as California.

NorthWestern officials have said the $1 billion, 430-mile power line, which is still a half decade away from completion, at the earliest, is intended to ship power from new, renewable-energy projects, including wind farms.

This is just the latest setback for NorthWestern, which federal regulators have already slowed on concerns over how the company structured the deal and after a utility, PPL Montana, complained the project aims to gain a monopoly influence over transmission in the state.


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