Environmental Groups Want Carbon Costs in Power Plan

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Environmental groups are asking Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer to push for changes in a pending regional power plan so that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council is considering a 20-year plan that would meet almost all the region’s increased power demands through energy-efficiency measures.

But environmental groups including the Sierra Club and Northern Plains Resource Council want the council to go even further — pegging the cost for carbon emissions at almost $50 per ton.

Their aim is to discourage the burning of coal. Coal supplies half the nation’s electricity but also emits large quantities of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change.

The power council, an agency of Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, advises the region’s largest electricity supplier — the Bonneville Power Administration.

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