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Colstrip, coal-fired power plant
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The Latest: Retrofitting Montana power plant would be costly

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Montana’s Colstrip power plant. (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Federal officials say retrofitting Montana’s largest coal-fired power plant to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions would cost at least $1.2 billion.

Representatives of the Department of Energy presented that finding to Gov. Steve Bullock on Wednesday based on an analysis of the Colstrip power plant.

It comes as Bullock tries to fend off criticism from Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte. He accuses Bullock of not doing enough to help the plant and the surrounding community.

Colstrip is Montana’s largest source of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to climate change.

Energy officials say retrofitting the plant could reduce emissions by 30 to 47 percent. The captured gas could be used to boost production in the state’s oil fields.

But it’s uncertain who would pay for the work on Colstrip or how long it would take.

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8:30 a.m.

Gov. Steve Bullock plans to meet with federal energy officials Wednesday to discuss the potential to capture carbon dioxide from burning coal at Montana’s Colstrip power plant.

Colstrip is one of the largest power plants in the West. It faces an uncertain future because of the large amounts of pollution it emits.

Bullock’s office says U.S. Department of Energy representatives will present an analysis on capturing carbon dioxide from one of Colstrip’s four generating units.

The carbon dioxide could be used in oil production to increase the amount of oil pumped from underground reserves.

A key question will be the cost effectiveness of any proposal.

A 2008 analysis from the power plant’s operator said it could cost up to $900 million annually to capture and store carbon dioxide from Colstrip.

 

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