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Montana governor looking for new Colstrip owners

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s governor is looking for a new ownership structure for one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the West to stave off its partial closure.

Gov. Steve Bullock said Tuesday he’s forming a working group to explore an ownership change for three of the four units at the 2,100-megawatt Colstrip power plant.

Bullock says the state’s energy industry is controlled by interests outside Montana and he wants to ensure Colstrip’s future.

Washington’s governor last week signed a law that would allow the state’s largest utility, Puget Sound Energy, to set aside money for the closure of Colstrip’s two oldest units.

Built in the 1970s, those units face pressure from market forces increasing pollution regulations.

Five other utilities have a share in Colstrip, including NorthWestern Energy and Talen Energy.

In related news, Inslee says he’ll sign Colstrip bill with partial veto.

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