PSE rejects illegal action from the state of Montana
Puget Sound Energy took legal action against the State of Montana today.

BELLEVUE, Wash. (5/4/2021) Puget Sound Energy took legal action against the State of Montana today, filing a lawsuit with the Pacific Northwest Colstrip owners, Avista Corporation, PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric, after Montana Governor Gianforte signed Senate Bills 265 and 266 into law.

“The State of Montana is unconstitutionally interfering into a longstanding, private business contract,” said PSE’s General Counsel Steve Secrist. “This is both illegal and detrimental to finding constructive, long-term solutions regarding Colstrip.”

SB 265 and SB 266 impair the contractual rights of the Colstrip co-owners such as the exercise of economic decisions or altering the arbitration process outlined under the existing Ownership and Operations Agreement. Both the U.S. and Montana Constitutions prohibit the passage of any law that substantially impairs the obligations of existing contracts.

PSE has taken numerous steps to address the challenges surrounding Colstrip. PSE is the only co-owner that has stepped forward and provided $10 million to aid the community of Colstrip early in its transition planning efforts. Working with NorthWestern Energy, PSE proposed a workable solution for the sale of PSE’s interests in Colstrip Unit 4. While this didn’t move forward, PSE has shown leadership and creativity to find solutions for Colstrip. By Washington state law, all electric utilities must eliminate coal-fired power by 2025.

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Janet Kim, 888-831-7250,

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