Tester encouraged by proposal to restart CFAC

Senator wants Montanans to submit comments on possible plant reopening

(U.S. SENATE) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s push to reopen the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company may soon pay dividends if a recently proposed power sales agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration is finalized. 

The proposed sale would provide enough power to allow two of CFAC’s potlines to operate and deliver important jobs back to the Flathead.

“The Flathead Valley has been hammered by job losses in recent years and reopening the CFAC plant would bring back much-needed good-paying jobs,” Tester said.  “We’ve been down this road before only to be frustrated.  It is time for CFAC and BPA to finalize this agreement and I will keep pressing all sides to get something done.”

Tester has pushed BPA to sign a new long-term contract since the plant’s shutdown in 2009.  Earlier this year, he wrote a letter to Stephen J. Wright, the head of BPA, expressing support for a power purchase agreement that would reopen CFAC.

“Before the plant’s closure, CFAC had operated for over 50 years and was central to the economy of the Flathead Valley,” Tester wrote.  “During these tough economic times it is important that the BPA adopt sound policies that encourage job creation and grow the economy.”

Tester also said that it was important for folks to comment on the proposed power sales agreement.  The comment period ends Aug. 31, 2011.  The BPA administrator and staff will review all public comments before making a final decision this fall.

The website to comment and view the proposed agreement can be found HERE.

Tester’s recent letter to Wright is HERE.