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Sun May 26, 2019, 09:47 AM

Hundreds of Colstrip mining jobs at stake as power plant owner seeks new coal supplier

Westmoreland Mining LLC is asking the state of Montana to think twice before allowing Colstrip Power Plant to buy coal from somewhere else.

The companyís Rosebud Mine is within walking distance of the power plant, which it has fueled for more than 40 years. Nearly 400 union miners work at Rosebud.

Colstrip Power Plantís coal contract with Westmoreland is running out in December and power plant operator Talen Energy is now taking steps toward a different mine. Some observers suggest Talen is merely bluffing for a better deal from Westmoreland.

"Talen Montana is serious about ensuring that the Colstrip plant remains economically viable for as long as possible. Therefore, it is critical that we not be held only to one supplier," said Taryne Williams, Talen Energy spokeswoman. "Whether or not the Colstrip plant continues to take coal from the Rosebud Mine after the end of this year is heavily dependent on whether Westmoreland decides to submit an economically competitive offer rather than persisting in its efforts to impose punitive commercial terms on Talen Montana and the Colstrip co-owners by virtue of its monopoly."

Read more: https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/hundreds-of-colstrip-mining-jobs-at-stake-as-power-plant/article_5ac5d82b-9394-514f-afef-ed722f4d0fa2.html

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