Gianforte addresses Washington State Bill that could affect Cols - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Gianforte addresses Washington State Bill that could affect Colstrip

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte called on Washington's Governor Jay Inslee to veto a bill that paves way for closure of Montana's Colstrip Power Plant.

Gianforte's running mate Lesley Robinson said if we lose Colstrip alone, economically, that would be the equivalent to losing a third of all farms and ranches in Montana.

Last month, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill that incentivizes Puget Sound Energy to shutter Colstrip.

A study from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research found that closing Colstrip would cost the state 7,100 jobs and $1.5 billion in economic activity.

"The University of Montana said we'll have about 10,000 people leave the state of Montana," Gianforte said. "They said it'll be the single most catastrophic economic event in over 30 years."

Two women from Colstrip attended the meeting who founded a movement: "Colstrip United."

Ashley Dennehy, a cofounder, was born and raised in Colstrip and works at her family's hardware store. She recently married and bought a house in Colstrip, but said she now fears it will be for nothing.

"What would you do if someone told you that you were going to lose everything? Everything you love, everything you cherish, everything you've worked hard for? How would you feel? What would you do? I hope that you would save it," Dennehy said.

More information on their movement can be found at: www.Facebook.com/ColstripUnited

Bill McChesney, Democratic candidate for governor, made a statement to KULR-8 regarding the future of Colstrip:

"I was very disappointed that the state of Washington wasn't willing to work with the state of Montana. With that said, I would like the governor of Washington to veto that bill and work more closely with Montana to come up with some alternatives. It would be devastating to Colstrip and Montana if Colstrip were to close without alternatives in place. I'm equally disappointed, and find it disingenuous, that some of the same people who seem to be bemoaning Washington's decision are the same people who champion the rights of states to determine their own destinies," McChesney said. 

KULR-8 reached out to Governor Steve Bullock and Republican candidate Terry Nelson for comment but has not yet heard back. 

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