Lawmaker: Washington state coal plan hurts Montana

Lawmaker: Washington state coal plan hurts Montana


AP News

BILLINGS, Mont. – A Montana congressman says his state’s power generation and mining industries would suffer under a Washington state proposal to cut carbon pollution by eliminating imports of coal-fired power.

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines is calling on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to reconsider an executive order the Democrat signed in April to reduce Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Inslee’s plan includes phasing out electricity generated from burning coal, although no timeline has been established.

Most of Washington’s electricity comes from hydropower, with just over 13 percent coming from coal.

But coal is responsible for almost 80 percent of utilities’ emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that scientists say is helping drive climate change.

Most of Washington’s coal-generated electricity comes from power plants in Montana and Wyoming.

Inslee has made climate change one of his key issues.

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