PPL issued a statement yesterday telling folks that they “will permanently shut down the J.E. Corette power plant in Billings” in August. It is powered by low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, and it has been in operation since 1968. There are 30 full-time employees.
Back in 2012, PPL announced that the plant would be placed in a “mothball” status, but now they have discovered the cost to restart the plant would be significant, so closure is the best option.
The 2012 “mothball” announcement was an issue in the 2012 U.S. Senate race between Jon Tester and Denny Rehberg with the Rehberg camp blaming Tester and President Barack Obama for it being mothballed. Read an article about it HERE.
The goal of the Rehberg campaign was to tie Tester to Obama. That strategy failed miserably.
So here we are in 2015 and with the news of the permanent closure, the Montana GOP fired off a press release trying to blame Governor Steve Bullock (a Democrat who is up for re-election in 2016) and Obama for its closure: