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Gianforte, Daines Say Biden Must End War On Coal Industry

Gianforte, Daines Say Biden Must End War On Coal Industry Gianforte, Daines Say Biden Must End War On Coal Industry

Joining representatives from Montana’s energy industry, Gov. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., held a roundtable at the Rosebud Mine in Colstrip last week, calling on Joe Biden to end his war on American-made energy.

“Joe Biden has made it clear that he’d rather appease the demands of far-left activists than address the affordability crisis he’s created,” Gianforte said. “Affordable power generated by coal keeps the lights on in Montana and fuels manufacturing across the country. Today, we call on the president to end his war on coal that drives up costs, threatens the reliability of our electrical grid, and destroys jobs.” “Joe Biden is doing everything he can to kill Colstrip and made-in-Montana energy— from the EPA’s new MATS and Clean Power Plan 2.0 rules that directly threaten Colstrip Power Plant, to slow walking permits that threaten the continued operation at Rosebud coal mine,” said Daines. “This administration is dead set on shuttering the Colstrip community. I will be fighting each day against the radical left and Biden’s anti-energy agenda.”

The visit to the mine and discussion come on the heels of the Biden administration’s recently released Resource Management Plan Amendment which prohibits future coal leases in eastern Montana through 2038. It is the latest in a series of regulations issued by the administration that directly target Colstrip and coal-generated power.

Colstrip generating units account for a significant percentage of Montana’s baseload electricity supply and consistently rank among the lowest-cost dispatchable power plants in the western United States.

The 25,000-acre Rosebud mine produces upwards of six to eight million tons of coal to supply the adjacent four coal-fired generating units which provide enough energy to power nearly 500,000 homes. As one of the largest coal plants in the western United States, Colstrip employs around 360 Montanans at the power station and another 370 at the Rosebud Mine.

According to Northwestern Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, the new rules released by the Environmental Protection Agency threaten to force the early retirement of the facility, costing Montana consumers over $1.1 billion over the next 20 years.

Blasting the president for his overreach, the governor and senator aired their concerns surrounding its threat to energy independence, affordability, and to good-paying jobs.

“This is an unacceptable burden on Montanans, especially as historic inflation and skyrocketing mortgage rates stretch paychecks thinner and thinner,” Gov. Gianforte said during the roundtable.

According to the Consumer Price Index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices continued to rise in April. Since President Biden took office, the energy index has risen nearly 35 percent.

During the roundtable, the governor and senator heard from Westmoreland Mining CEO Martin Purvis on how the Biden administration’s overhaul of coal-generated power not only threatens livelihoods, but also fails to establish a reliable energy plan for Americans, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. There is no plan here, it’s all being made up as we go and the risk is its coming back on the American people who will suffer the most.”

Purvis continued, “Not being able to turn your lights on and basically get what you need to conduct your day-today life is not acceptable.”

Highlighting the necessity of coal-fired generation for grid reliability, the governor shared, “Energy isn’t a luxury in Montana, it’s a necessity. Every year, harsh winter conditions remind us of the need for an all-of-the-above energy approach and reliable, baseload power.”

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