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How will EPA rules on carbon work, and what's next for coal?

How will EPA rules on carbon work, and what's next for coal?

HELENA — Proposed federal rules to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants won’t take effect until 2016 — and won’t fall entirely on the back of coal-fired power plants.

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Coal-industry studies say EPA carbon regs will jack electric bills

Coal-industry studies say EPA carbon regs will jack electric bills

HELENA — In their fight against federal rules to cut carbon emissions, the coal industry and its allies are producing studies saying the rules mean big price increases for electricity consumers in Montana and elsewhere.

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Split PSC shoots down agreement for wind power project

HELENA — A divided state Public Service Commission this week rejected NorthWestern Energy’s agreement to buy power from a new wind project at a cost lower than the utility is paying for power from hydroelectric dams purchased earlier this year.

December 18, 2014 7:00 pmLoading…

Foundation funded by Blue Cross sale issuing first grants, for local health assessments

HELENA — The foundation funded by the 2013 sale of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana announced its first grants Wednesday for local health departments around the state to identify local health needs.

December 17, 2014 10:37 amLoading…
Bullock, critic of big corporate money, now in charge of raising it for DGA

Bullock, critic of big corporate money, now in charge of raising it for DGA

HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a vocal critic of corporate money in politics, now heads up the Democratic Governors Association, which raises millions in corporate dollars to help elect Democratic governors — but says that doesn’t make him a hypocrite.

December 16, 2014 6:22 pmLoading…
Daines lays out ambitious GOP agenda for Congress – but says he’s a `pragmatic conservative’

Daines lays out ambitious GOP agenda for Congress – but says he’s a `pragmatic conservative’

HELENA — Montana’s next U.S. senator, Republican Steve Daines, says the new GOP-controlled Congress will have an active agenda next year, such as taking on “Obamacare,” passing a balanced budget, blocking costly federal regulations and approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

December 15, 2014 7:50 pm Photos

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Steve Daines

Steve Daines

U.S. Sen.-elect Steve Daines, R-Mont., says the Republican-controlled Congress will challenge the Affordable Care Act and likely vote to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, a balanced budget and less regulation.

December 15, 2014 11:54 am
Steve Daines

Steve Daines

U.S. Sen.-elect Steve Daines, R-Mont., says the Republican-controlled Congress will challenge the Affordable Care Act and likely vote to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, a balanced budget and less regulation.

December 15, 2014 11:54 am
Bullock ready to roll dice on giant $300 million infrastructure bill

Bullock ready to roll dice on giant $300 million infrastructure bill

HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock is sending a massive $300 million Christmas tree of building projects to the 2015 Legislature, hoping lawmakers won’t chop it into pieces and throw some into the fireplace.

December 14, 2014 7:00 amLoading…
Oil may boom, but infrastructure is busting Montana oil, gas counties

Oil may boom, but infrastructure is busting Montana oil, gas counties

SIDNEY — Out in the epicenter of the oil and gas boom, communities are growing so quickly they can’t keep up with their basic infrastructure needs such as water and sewage treatment facilities, housing and roads and bridges.

December 14, 2014 12:30 am Photos

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Bullock's office says it's not required to publicize timber meetings

Bullock's office says it's not required to publicize timber meetings

HELENA — The Bullock administration was not required to publicize meetings on which Montana forestlands should be tabbed for expedited logging, because the meetings had no power to make a final decision, a state lawyer argued Thursday.

December 11, 2014 6:15 pmLoading…

Blue Cross paying $1 million penalty for complaints about service

HELENA — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, the state’s largest private health insurer, agreed Thursday to pay a $1 million penalty for a raft of customer-service complaints and problems handled by state regulators.

December 11, 2014 6:10 pmLoading…

Economist: Medicaid expansion a good deal for state; lawmakers remain reluctant

HELENA — Accepting federal money to expand Medicaid to cover thousands of low-income Montanans looks like a good financial and policy deal for the state, a University of Montana economist told a health care conference here Monday.

December 08, 2014 6:27 pmLoading…
Remington agrees to 'retrofit’ several million rifles

Remington agrees to 'retrofit’ several million rifles

BOZEMAN — The Remington Arms Co., seeking to settle claims that its iconic Model 700 bolt-action rifle and other rifles have defective trigger mechanisms that led to injuries and deaths, agreed Friday to replace the trigger mechanism in millions of weapons.

December 05, 2014 7:30 pm Photos

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Richard Barber

Richard Barber

Richard Barber, who spent 14 years investigating a Remington Arms Co. rifle’s trigger mechanism that he says was defective and caused the death of his son, talks Friday about the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that will lead to the recall of perhaps millions of the rifles, and replacem…

December 05, 2014 7:26 pm
Richard Barber

Richard Barber

Richard Barber, who spent 14 years investigating a Remington Arms Co. rifle’s trigger mechanism that he says was defective and caused the death of his son, talks Friday about the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that will lead to the recall of perhaps millions of the rifles, and replacem…

December 05, 2014 7:03 pm
Republicans say public doesn't mind if they meet behind closed doors

Republicans say public doesn't mind if they meet behind closed doors

HELENA — The 1998 court order that says Montana legislators’ party caucuses cannot meet in private no longer applies — and the public doesn’t mind if these caucuses meet behind closed doors — a lawyer for House Republicans says.

December 04, 2014 4:57 pm Related Loading…
Montana delegation unveils major public lands package

Montana delegation unveils major public lands package

HELENA — Montana’s congressional delegation Wednesday unveiled a sweeping public lands package that they hope will clear the current Congress in its waning days.

December 03, 2014 11:19 am Video Related Loading…

Coal industry, utilities, governor express concern over EPA’s carbon rules

HELENA — Montana energy interests, environmentalists and others this week weighed in on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules to limit carbon emissions at existing power plants, raising scores of questions about the rules’ workability.

December 02, 2014 10:51 amLoading…
At least $1.5M spent on Wheat-VanDyke Supreme Court race

At least $1.5M spent on Wheat-VanDyke Supreme Court race

HELENA — At least $1.6 million was spent on the Montana Supreme Court race between Justice Mike Wheat and challenger Lawrence VanDyke this year, records show, likely making it the most expensive judicial race in state history.

November 28, 2014 6:00 amLoading…
Owner of extravagant Flathead Lake island home wants taxes reduced $32 million

Owner of extravagant Flathead Lake island home wants taxes reduced $32 million

HELENA — In perhaps the most expensive residential tax-appeal case in Montana history, a California real estate mogul is asking a state board to reduce the assessed value of his Flathead Lake island home by $32 million.

November 28, 2014 6:00 am Video Related Loading…
Malmstrom Air Force Base

Malmstrom Air Force Base

Malmstrom Air Force Base, on the east edge of Great Falls, contributes an estimated $300 million to $350 million to the local and state economy, Air Force officials say. It has 3,400 active-duty military personnel and another 4,500 military family dependents, civilian employees and contracto…

November 26, 2014 12:15 pm
House Republican caucus isn't 1st in recent past to violate open-meetings law

House Republican caucus isn't 1st in recent past to violate open-meetings law

HELENA — Montana’s 2015 House Republican caucus got itself in hot water recently, when two news reporters found its members in the basement of a Helena restaurant at a secret meeting — a violation of Montana’s open-meetings law.

November 23, 2014 11:50 am Photos

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'More conservative than people realize': Meyers only American Indian Republican in Legislature

'More conservative than people realize': Meyers only American Indian Republican in Legislature

HELENA — G. Bruce Meyers says growing up on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in north-central Montana, he was taught not to trust anything “white, rich or Republican,” and never questioned it.

November 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Gov. Bullock’s chief of staff resigns to take new job

Gov. Bullock’s chief of staff resigns to take new job

HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock announced Thursday that his chief of staff is resigning to take a new job and named Department of Environmental Quality Director Tracy Stone-Manning as his new chief of staff.

November 20, 2014 2:26 pm Photos

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Bullock on Medicaid: 'More or less a new way, than any other state has taken'

HELENA — As promised, Gov. Steve Bullock on Monday unveiled his plan to make another run at asking the Legislature to accept millions in federal dollars to provide health coverage for 70,000 low-income Montanans.

November 17, 2014 5:42 pmLoading…
With much less fanfare, insurance marketplace kicks off second year

With much less fanfare, insurance marketplace kicks off second year

HELENA — With little fanfare, the second year of buying subsidized health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's online marketplace kicked off Saturday in Montana — and consumers have just one month to get a policy that will take effect Jan. 1.

November 16, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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State work-comp fund declares record $20M dividend paid to customers

HELENA — The state workers’ compensation fund Friday approved a $20 million dividend to be paid to most of its 27,000 business customers in Montana — its largest dividend ever.

November 14, 2014 1:38 pmLoading…
Tester named to lead Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Tester named to lead Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

HELENA — Montana Sen. Jon Tester was named Thursday as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, where he’ll be in charge of recruiting Senate candidates for the 2016 elections.

November 13, 2014 12:09 pmLoading…
Tester’s new role in the minority: Swing vote that could help move key issues

Tester’s new role in the minority: Swing vote that could help move key issues

HELENA — Montana’s senior U.S. senator, Democrat Jon Tester, will now be in the minority for the first time in his Senate career — but said this week his new role may actually create more opportunities to get things done.

November 11, 2014 4:15 pm Photos

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Reporter's notebook: After Democrats' drubbing on Tuesday, Bullock agenda faces uphill battle

Reporter's notebook: After Democrats' drubbing on Tuesday, Bullock agenda faces uphill battle

HELENA — Montana Democrats are trying to put a good spin on Tuesday’s election losses, noting that while they got creamed in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate races, they actually picked up a couple seats in the Legislature, saying that’s a better showing than Democrats in most other states.

November 09, 2014 7:00 amLoading…

Contested races likely for House, Senate leadership posts

HELENA — Legislators have begun scrambling for party leadership positions within their respective caucuses, including presiding officers of the Senate and House.

November 05, 2014 6:39 pmLoading…
Republicans hold majorities in state Senate, House; lose 2 seats in the House

Republicans hold majorities in state Senate, House; lose 2 seats in the House

HELENA — State Republicans easily held their majorities in the Montana Legislature on Tuesday, maintaining a 29-21 margin in the state Senate for the 2015 session and carving out a 59-41 majority in the House — a loss of two seats from the current House makeup.

November 05, 2014 11:58 am Related Loading…
Wheat, Rice win easy victories in bids for Supreme Court

Wheat, Rice win easy victories in bids for Supreme Court

BOZEMAN — Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat, who faced a tide of spending by conservative, pro-business groups trying to defeat him, easily turned away a challenge Tuesday from former state solicitor general Lawrence VanDyke to win another term on Montana’s high court.

November 04, 2014 9:12 pm Photos

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Republican Daines defeats Curtis in U.S. Senate race

Republican Daines defeats Curtis in U.S. Senate race

BOZEMAN — U.S. Rep. Steve Daines defeated Democrat Amanda Curtis on Tuesday night in Montana’s U.S. Senate race, becoming the first Republican in 100 years to win the seat — and also helping his party win back control of the Senate.

November 04, 2014 8:00 pm Photos

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VanDyke’s background: Conservative ties and practicing appellate law in Texas, D.C. and Montana

VanDyke’s background: Conservative ties and practicing appellate law in Texas, D.C. and Montana

HELENA — Montana Supreme Court justice candidate Lawrence VanDyke has worked as a lawyer for a giant international law firm and Republican attorneys general in Texas and Montana, focusing on appellate law — experience he says makes him a good choice to serve on Montana’s high court, whose ma…

October 30, 2014 6:15 pm Photos

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Flurry of mailers on state legislative races prompting complaints

HELENA — A last-minute flurry of attack mailers targeting Montana legislative candidates is prompting some formal complaints — and Commissioner of Political Practices Jon Motl ruled Thursday that the state Democratic Party may have violated the law on a flier in a Great Falls race.

October 30, 2014 5:33 pmLoading…
VanDyke’s background: Conservative ties and practicing appellate law in Texas, D.C. and Montana

VanDyke’s background: Conservative ties and practicing appellate law in Texas, D.C. and Montana

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-day series looking at the records of Supreme Court justice candidates Lawrence VanDyke and Justice Mike Wheat.

October 30, 2014 3:50 pm
Wheat’s Supreme Court record under attack; what’s actually in the record?

Wheat’s Supreme Court record under attack; what’s actually in the record?

HELENA — From high-profile criminal cases to multimillion-dollar business decisions, Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat has ruled many ways on some of Montana’s biggest cases since joining the court in 2010.

October 29, 2014 5:44 pm Photos

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Controversial mailer on MT SupCo races product of voter-behavior study, which is now under fire

HELENA — The Stanford-Dartmouth political-science study that produced last week’s controversial mailer listing the alleged political leanings of Montana Supreme Court justice candidates is raising eyebrows among academics, some of whom are calling it unethical.

October 28, 2014 12:10 amLoading…
Montana's top political cop wants action, apology from Dartmouth and Stanford

Montana's top political cop wants action, apology from Dartmouth and Stanford

HELENA — Montana’s top political cop is asking two private colleges that sent a controversial mailer last week to 100,000 Montana voters on the state’s two Supreme Court races to send a second mailer disavowing the first.

October 27, 2014 4:30 pm Photos

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Money pouring into Wheat-VanDyke Montana Supreme Court race

Money pouring into Wheat-VanDyke Montana Supreme Court race

HELENA — Outside money has been pouring in to influence Montana’s Supreme Court race between Justice Mike Wheat and challenger Lawrence VanDyke — and political observers say Montanans might as well get used to it.

October 25, 2014 4:30 pm Photos

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State Senate races in Bozeman, north-central Montana most expensive in state

State Senate races in Bozeman, north-central Montana most expensive in state

HELENA — State Senate races in Bozeman and north-central Montana are the most expensive legislative contests in the state, with candidates raising a collective $70,000 in each race, finance records show.

October 24, 2014 4:54 pmLoading…
Tester accuses Stanford, Dartmouth of 'voter manipulation'; demands funding disclosure

Tester accuses Stanford, Dartmouth of 'voter manipulation'; demands funding disclosure

HELENA — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester on Friday accused two prominent colleges of “voter manipulation” for their role in a mailer sent this week to 100,000 Montanans, in connection with two Montana Supreme Court races.

October 24, 2014 4:43 pm Photos

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4th outside group throws money at state Supreme Court race

4th outside group throws money at state Supreme Court race

HELENA — A conservative political group launched TV and radio ads attacking Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat on Thursday, becoming the fourth outside group spending to influence the outcome of the campaign between Wheat and his challenger, former state solicitor Lawrence VanDyke.

October 23, 2014 4:38 pmLoading…
Senate debate

Senate debate

U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., left, and Democrat Amanda Curtis, prepare to begin their second and final debate in Montana’s U.S. Senate race Tuesday night at the Richland County Fairgrounds Event Center in Sidney, before a packed house of 200 people.

October 22, 2014 6:18 am
Daines goes after Curtis’ oil infrastructure votes; bashes federal government

Daines goes after Curtis’ oil infrastructure votes; bashes federal government

SIDNEY – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines, debating Democratic rival Amanda Curtis Tuesday night in the heart of eastern Montana’s oil patch, accused her of helping to kill a $35-million bill to fund public works in Montana communities overwhelmed by oil development.

October 21, 2014 9:15 pm Photos

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Curtis 'amused' by GOP depiction of her as anti-capitalism

Curtis 'amused' by GOP depiction of her as anti-capitalism

HELENA — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis doesn’t deny her sympathies for an obscure union with a radical past — the Industrial Workers of the World — and said she’s “amused” that the state Republican Party is labeling her a “communist” because of it.

October 19, 2014 8:00 pm Related Loading…
Democrats say they have good chance for gains in Legislature, but GOP thinks otherwise

Democrats say they have good chance for gains in Legislature, but GOP thinks otherwise

HELENA — In western Montana’s sprawling House District 92, Democratic candidate Dave Strohmaier says he’s knocked on doors from East Missoula to Condon, halfway up the Seeley-Swan Valley.

October 19, 2014 12:30 am Photos

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Sen. Walsh looks back, and to the future – and says he has `no regrets’

Sen. Walsh looks back, and to the future – and says he has `no regrets’

HELENA — As John Walsh looks toward his final weeks as a U.S. senator, he says he has “no regrets” about his aborted run as Senate candidate — and that he still has some work to do as an officeholder.

October 19, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

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