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The coal-fired Colstrip Generating Facility is shown in a file photo. An advisory group meeting is planned to explore the effect of the power plant's eventual closure on the town of Colstrip. 

On Thursday Gov. Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox announced an advisory group to develop and plan for addressing the economic impact of the closures of the Colstrip power plant in southeastern Montana.

The group will help Colstrip develop a community impact plan guiding disbursement of economic impact funds provided by owners of the Colstrip Generating Facility.

The Colstrip Community Impact Advisory Group will use the $10 million in impact funds committed by Puget Sound Energy through a rate case settlement agreement recently approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Committee.

Group members include:

  • Co-chair Adam Schafer, from the governor’s office.
  • Co-chair Jon Bennion, from the Attorney General’s office.
  • A Puget Sound Energy representative.
  • John Williams, Colstrip mayor.
  • Doug Martens, Rosebud County commissioner.
  • State Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip.
  • State Rep. Geraldine Custer, R-Forsyth.
  • Jim Atchison, Southeastern Montana Development Corporation.
  • State Sen. Jason Small, R-Busby, who is also president of Boilermakers 11 at Colstrip.
  • Stacey Yates, business manager for IBEW 1638 at Colstrip.
  • Wally McRae, Colstrip area rancher.
  • Pam Haxby-Cote, or designee, director of Montana Department of Commerce.
  • Tom Livers, or designee, director of Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Galen Hollenbaugh, or designee, commissioner of Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

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Reporter covering statewide issues for The Billings Gazette.