Wash. bill to study impacts of closing Montana coal plant

 Wash. bill to study impacts of closing Montana coal plant

SEATTLE (AP) - Washington lawmakers say they want to study the impacts of closing a huge coal-fired power plant in southeastern Montana that provide powers to the Northwest.

Senate Bill 5874 was initially written to make it easier for the state's private utilities to close all or parts the coal plant in Colstrip, Montana.

But the Senate amended and passed the bill Wednesday night calling for a study of the costs and benefits of a plant closure.

Sen. Doug Ericksen, the bill's sponsor, said Thursday that some senators felt didn't have all the information they needed.

Investor-owned utilities operating in Washington have been under pressure by Gov. Jay Inslee and environmental groups to reduce or eliminate electricity they get from out-of-state coal plants. The goal is to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.

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