Last month Helena mayor Wilmot Collins walked into the headquarters of NorthWestern Energy in Butte and delivered a letter he penned for CEO Bob Rowe. In the letter, Collins expressed concern that NorthWestern wasn’t planning for a future energy portfolio unsupported by power from the coal fired plant at Colstrip.

He reiterated what many Montanans have been telling our primary monopoly power provider; that we want, and the current climate crisis demands, a future energy mix consisting of clean Montana produced renewable energy. He also asked NorthWestern to begin setting aside funds for the massive environmental cleanup that has to take place when the plant at Colstrip inevitably closes, and also to set aside real funding to help the community of Colstrip transition away from economic dependence on this obsolete plant.

NorthWestern’s response was to complain about the mayor’s action as a “campaign stunt” that we as Montanans shouldn’t tolerate. NorthWestern makes a big show of listening, but their actions show this to be empty public relations.

I appreciate Mayor Collins and hope other elected officials come forward and use their voices to stand up for a sustainable clean energy future for all of us.

Jim Roach,


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