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The aurora lights up the skies above powerlines near Columbia Falls Sunday, Feb. 26. (Jeremy Weber/Daily Inter Lake)

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Montana needs reliable energy
January 28, 2024 midnight

Montana needs reliable energy

Last week the big news was the record setting minus 22 degrees. Many used the event for cliché laden debates on “climate change.”

Cold snap fuels Montana’s coal power debate
January 23, 2024 midnight

Cold snap fuels Montana’s coal power debate

The record-breaking cold snap Montana saw this month brought days of below-zero temperatures across the state — and with them what major Montana utility NorthWestern Energy said was record-high electric demand from its customers.

Outdated transmission system holds back Montana's clean energy production
August 13, 2023 midnight

Outdated transmission system holds back Montana's clean energy production

Dr. Pat Barkey, director of the University of Montana’s Bureau for Business Economic Research, points out that Montana's "increasing population has driven higher electricity demand, but little new generation and transmission capacity has been built over the last decade." And, that "Montana risks becoming a net importer of electricity."

Economist warns state must boost energy production
August 4, 2023 midnight

Economist warns state must boost energy production

Montana risks becoming a net importer of electricity because growth in electricity generation and transmission infrastructure is failing to keep pace with increasing demand, according to Dr. Pat Barkey, director of the University of Montana’s Bureau for Business Economic Research.

Lighting up the night sky
March 5, 2023 midnight

Lighting up the night sky

The aurora borealis lit up the skies of the Flathead Valley last week to the delight of both photographers and sky gazers.