Utilities Say Mont. Can't Dictate Power Plant Arbitration Venue

Law360 (May 5, 2021, 6:09 PM EDT) -- A Montana law that requires a power plant dispute be arbitrated in the state violates the contracts clause of the U.S. Constitution and thus can't dictate the arbitration venue in negotiations over a decades-old ownership agreement, joint owners of a coal plant have said.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in Montana federal court against some fellow co-owners, the plaintiffs who co-own two coal-fired steam-generating units in Colstrip, Montana, say that a dispute over how to shut the plant down must be resolved through arbitrators in Washington state, despite the Montana law that aims to set the venue in Big Sky Country.

The plaintiffs — utilities like Portland General...

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