On September 18th, Environment Montana released an in-depth report, “America’s Dirtiest Power Plants”, detailing the amount of pollution Montana’s coal-fired power plants emit. The report states Montana emits as much carbon dioxide as the country of Mongolia, which has a population of 3 million people. The largest emitting power plant in Montana is PPL’s Colstrip, which emits 13 million of the state’s 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Anne Hedges, the Program Director of Montana Environmental Information Center, was at the report release and spoke about the severity of Montana’s pollution, “So a little state like Montana has this enormous pollution source. This report just puts the impacts of Colstrip in a broader perspective so we can understand here in Montana that not only can we do better but that we should do better, because Colstrip, its emissions and its pollution are much greater than they need to be and they are very large any way you calculate them.”
Kyla Maki, the Clean Energy Program Director from Montana Environmental Information Center, advocated for renewable energy sources to provide cleaner power. She noted Montana ranks second in the nation for wind energy potential, but the state isn’t even ranked in the top 20 for existing wind development projects. Hedges explained the importance of the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan as a way to reduce carbon emissions while creating clean energy jobs.