Montana PSC to hold hearing Monday on NorthWestern rate increases

The state Public Service Commission will hold a hearing Monday in Helena on NorthWestern Energy’s application to make permanent a 2 percent increase in natural gas and electric delivery rates in Montana.

The PSC approved the increase on a temporary basis effective Jan. 1.

NorthWestern agreed to hold its increase to 2 percent — a much smaller rate increase than it originally requested — in a deal negotiated in December with the Montana Consumer Counsel.

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Judge’s ruling favors Montana’s Bull Mountain investors

A promise by owners of the Bull Mountain coal mine near Roundup to pay investors more than $17 million plus interest was breached and is enforceable, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby issued her findings in the complicated case after hearing arguments last week from lawyers for three East Coast companies representing more than 350 investors and for Bull Mountain Coal Properties Inc., Airlie Opportunity Master Fund Ltd. and related companies.

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Montana GOP lawmakers deny climate-change science

Efforts to begin writing would-be laws from dozens of proposals contained in a state global-warming report hit a familiar speed bump Monday night: Republican skepticism that human activity really causes global warming.

“This is all flawed and it’s based on flawed everything,” said Sen. Dan McGee, R-Laurel, of the science explaining global climate change. “This is a lie. Call it what it is.”

McGee, a member of the Environmental Quality Council, was among several GOP lawmakers who disputed the foundations behind the 54 recommendations made late last year in a report by the governor-appointed Climate Change Advisory Council.

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