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Montanans are dealing with the personal and economic ravages of COVID-19, with no end in sight. This makes it even more critical that the ratepayers of Montana have a Public Service Commission that will achieve fair utility pricing, open access telecommunications and energy assistance programs.

During four terms in the Montana House of Representatives, Tom Woods’ legislation demonstrated that he puts the consumer’s interests first.

The PSC is a Montana state government agency that regulates private, investor utility providers in Montana. They also oversee natural gas pipeline safety regulations.

After 2025, states that buy power from Montana have stated they will only purchase energy from renewable sources, not coal-generated sources.

Yet, NorthWestern Energy wants to purchase the last two coal-fired Colstrip power plants for $1 when other owners favor shutting them down. One of the units needs a multi-million-dollar overhaul. The ash ponds are leaking. Will rate payers be on the hook for these expensive repairs down the line? This is reckless planning that only NorthWestern Energy would benefit from.

Tom Woods has the experience and knowledge to protect Montanans from poor corporate decisions and would be a valued asset to the Public Service Commission.

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Dorothy Filson