MT Governor urged to investigate power deal

HELENA — Two environmental groups and 14 Sanders County residents are asking Gov. Brian Schweitzer to investigate whether the former owner of a Western Montana power plant deceived regulators last fall to avoid paying a stiff state fine.

In a letter faxed to the governor’s office this week, representatives from the Clark Fork Coalition and the Montana Environmental Information Center, along with some Sanders County residents, accuse former Thompson River Co-gen co-owner Barry Bates of misleading the state Department of Environmental Quality. They say Bates wasn’t completely honest about the company’s financial situation and its plans to sell the troubled plant to an investment firm.

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