Montana Governor Announces Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council Members

The NW Energy Coalition’s senior policy associate for Montana, Diego Rivas, Coalition board member and former board chair Chuck Magraw, representatives of Coalition member organizations including member utilities Portland General Electric and Puget Sound Energy have been named to Montana’s Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Panel. Below is the full announcement from Montana Gov. Steve Bullock:

January 5, 2016 


Tim Crowe, Communications Director, 444-9844

Ronja Abel, Deputy Communications Director, 444-9725


Governor Steve Bullock Announces Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council Members

Helena, Mont.— Today Governor Steve Bullock appointed a twenty-seven member Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council.   The Council will gather information and provide recommendations on policies and actions necessary for the State of Montana to keep control over its energy future, protecting Montana’s economy and quality of life.

The Council will review applicable memoranda and guidance, information on rate and mass-based compliance tools, economic and reliability modeling, and the work of other states and entities. At the conclusion of this process, the Council will make recommendations to Montana Department of Environmental Quality regarding the filing of an Initial Submittal.

“Done right, a Montana plan will drive economic growth and create and maintain good-paying jobs across Montana. It will improve upon our traditional base of energy generation while sparking a new generation of clean technology business, moving us to more renewable energy, and encouraging innovation, savings and energy efficiency for homes and businesses,” said Bullock.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized its Clean Power Plan rule on October 23, 2015.  The final rule was substantially different from the proposed rules released in 2014, and Montana’s requirement for reduction of CO2 emissions significantly increased to 47%. The reductions directed by the EPA are required to be achieved by 2030.

“Montanans place a very high premium on protecting our clean air and water, outdoor heritage, and way of life,” said Bullock.

Changing market conditions and the Clean Power Plan will most certainly affect all aspects of power production in the state. Montana’s coal industry will most notably face the stiffest challenges in the years ahead. Finding creative solutions that support the coal industry, as well as growing jobs in energy efficiency and the renewable energy sector,  are vital steps to our future and to protecting Montana’s clean air and water.

The Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council members are:


Senator Duane Ankney, Colstrip, MT – Senate District 20, member of the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee

Carl Borquist, Bozeman, MT – Founder and President, Absaroka Energy, LLC

Hon. Kirk Bushman, Billings, MT – Montana Public Service Commission member representing District 2

Chris Christiaens, Great Falls MT – Legislative and Project Specialist, Montana Farmers Union

Gordon Criswell, Hysham, MT – Director, Environmental & Engineering Compliance, Talen Montana

Al Ekblad, Great Falls, MT – Executive Secretary of the Montana State AFL-CIO

Gary Forrester, Billings, MT – Government Affairs, MDU Resources, Inc.

Dave Galt, Helena, MT – private consultant specializing in energy and natural resources issues, immediate past Executive Director of the Montana Petroleum Association

Paul Gatzmeier, Billings, MT – a small business owner with extensive natural resource and energy background

Kathy Hadley, Deer Lodge, MT – Executive Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and President of the Montana Wildlife Federation

Doug Hardy, Great Falls, MT – General Manager of the Central Montana Electric Power Cooperative

Britt Ide, Bozeman, MT –  Principal, Ide Law & Strategy, LLC, private practice attorney specializing in energy, consensus-building, and innovation.

Senator Jim Keane, Butte, MT – Senate District 38, member of the Environmental Quality Council

Lorna Luebbe, Bellevue, WA – Director of Environmental Services/Assistant General Counsel, Puget Sound Energy, Inc.

Chuck Magraw, Helena, MT – private practice attorney specializing in energy issues

Chairman Darrin Old Coyote, Crow Agency, MT – Chairman, Crow Tribe

Jim Orchard, Broomfield, CO – Senior Vice President, Marketing & Government Affairs, Cloud Peak Energy

Bill Pascoe, Absarokee, MT – Principal, Pascoe Energy Consulting, representing a broad diversity of clients in energy matters.

Senator Mike Phillips, Bozeman, MT – Senate District 31, member of the Environmental Quality Council

Sunny Radcliffe, Portland, OR – Director, Governmental Affairs & Environmental Policy, Portland General Electric

Diego Rivas, Helena, MT – Senior Policy Associate, Northwest Energy Coalition

John Roeber, Butte, MT – Officer President, Montana State Building & Construction Trades Council, and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers

Rex Rogers, Colstrip, MT – IBEW Local 1638 Business Manager

Tom Schneider, Helena, MT – Private consultant specializing in energy issues, former three-term Montana Public Service Commissioner (2003-2006, 1977-1984)

Darrell Soyars, Spokane, WA – Manager of Corporate Environmental Compliance, Avista Corporation

Pat Sweeney, Billings, MT – Senior Advisor to the Western Organization of Resource Councils

William Thompson, Butte, MT – Senior Technical Advisor/Engineer, NorthWestern Energy

You can view this press release here.


Media coverage:

Bullock announces 27-member Clean Power Plan advisory council,” The Missoulian, January 6, 2016.

Environmentalists critical of Bullock’s New Clean Power Plan Council,” Montana Public Radio, January 6, 2016.