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2012 News Articles

Following are news articles from 2012 regarding the Beartooth Electric. Please click on the file name to view.

 

Beartooth continues to pursue battle with SME 
Dec 25, 2012 – Great Falls Tribune
An electricity co-op will continue its fight to cut ties with a bankrupt wholesale supplier after a federal judge ruled Beartooth Electric Cooperative had proven enough to proceed with two claims against Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative.

Bankruptcy judge rules for Beartooth Electric Cooperative
Dec 24, 2012 – Billings Gazette
In a Dec. 20 order, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher said the facts presented by Beartooth on two of its claims against Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative were sufficient to proceed. He dismissed three other claims while allowing Beartooth to reassert them later.

Low prices roil region’s markets for electricity
Dec 24, 2012 – Billings Gazette
Before the financial meltdown of 2008, electricity brokers in the Northwest were shelling out $65 for a megawatt hour (mwh) of juice, which is enough to power the average home in Montana for a month or so.

SME to research its land ownership
Dec 20, 2012 – Billings Gazette
A newly reorganized SME board took the first steps this week determine ownership and liens against its only asset — 470 acres of farmland in Cascade County.

Beartooth receives basis for bankruptcy plan 
Dec 20, 2012 – Carbon County News
On Friday, Dec. 14, the trustee for Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, Inc. (Southern) submitted its basis for the plan of resolution of the bankruptcy.  The document was a short four pages but its effect was devastating for the small co-ops that make up Southern.  The plan would require that Southern be kept intact, Highland Generation Station, its power plant, be kept, not sold and that the existing contracts with Southern for energy be honored.  It would take on additional power contracts.  That includes tremendous debts to PPL which had been suspended and would have required quarterly payments of millions of dollars. 

Bankruptcy judge sets schedule for resolving Southern case
Dec 19, 2012 – Billings Gazette
The judge presiding in the bankruptcy of a Billings-based wholesale power cooperative set deadlines Tuesday for the trustee to file a reorganization plan, saying he would like to wrap up the case by May.

Bankrupt Montana power co-op trustee offers proposal
Dec 14, 2012 – Billings Gazette
The trustee for a troubled Montana power cooperative submitted a proposal Friday that offers a first glimpse into how it could be reorganized to emerge from bankruptcy.

Debts mounting for Beartooth Electric 
Dec 06, 2012 – Carbon County News
On December 14, the U. S. Bankruptcy Court will receive the basis for a plan from Trustee Lee Freeman for Southern Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative (Southern) for the future of Southern.   Beartooth Electric Co-op (BEC), four other small rural co-ops and Great Falls accepted responsibility for Southern’s debts through their representatives on Southern’s board.  If the agreements hold, they will be held liable for some or all of the debts that may total over half a billion dollars.  BEC attorney Larry Martin advised the BEC board at a meeting held Friday, November 30 at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation. He said while it is hoped that the debts will be substantially reduced by the court, the trustee’s first obligation is to the creditors.

The city, trustees to talk Tuesday 
Nov 05, 2012 – Great Falls Tribune
City of Great Falls officials and the appointed trustee of a bankrupt electricity supplier will take part in mediated talks next Tuesday in Helena, City Commissioner Bob Jones said Monday.

Beartooth Electric Co-op looks towards the future with new power suppliers 
Nov 01, 2012 – Carbon County News
With the future of the Beartooth Electric Cooperative so open, it was declared at the meeting of the board on Friday, Oct. 26, that they looked forward to the Nov. 16 determination by the Trustee of Southern Electric Generating and Transmission Company (Southern) in the proper solution of the bankruptcy.

Legislative committee crafts new laws for electric co-ops
Jul 17, 2012 – Billings Gazette
A state legislative committee is poised to seek new laws requiring wholesale and distribution electric cooperatives to be more open in conducting business and raising the bar for member approval before taking on major financial obligations.

Bankruptcy judge denies co-op’s request to leave Southern
May 15, 2012 – Billings Gazette
A federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday denied Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative’s request to resume its lawsuit against its wholesale supplier in state court.

Bankruptcy judge hears co-op’s request to leave Southern
Apr 24, 2012 – Billings Gazette
Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative told a bankruptcy judge on Tuesday that it wants its long-awaited day in court -- state court -- to persuade a jury to end its contract with its wholesale power provider.

Beartooth co-op seeks to void Southern contract
Apr 16, 2012 – Billings Gazette
Beartooth Electric Cooperative is seeking to void its amended wholesale power contract with its bankrupt supplier.

Bankruptcy trustees dismisses Southern’s interim manager
Apr 13, 2012 – Billings Gazette
Alan See, interim manager for the bankrupt Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, was relieved of his job Friday, after he hired Tim Gregori, Southern's former manager, to do work at one of Southern's member co-ops.

Beartooth co-op seeks to nullify SME contract 
Great Falls Tribune
Red Lodge-based Beartooth Electric Cooperative on Friday asked a federal bankruptcy judge to declare its wholesale power contract with a Billings-based co-op null and void.

Bankruptcy judge approves interim Southern financing
Mar 13, 2012 – Billings Gazette
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher approved an interim plan Tuesday to allow Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative to keep using cash collateral to pay its bills and continue operations.

Nobody's in charge at meeting of bankrupt power co-op
Mar 12, 2012 - Billings Gazette
The dysfunction continues. Even with two new trustees, the bankrupt Southern Montana Electric power co-op could not elect officers at its annual meeting on Monday. No one was even nominated.

Southern trustee hires legal expert to track 'what happened to the money'
Mar 09, 2012 - Billings Gazette
The bankruptcy trustee for the Southern Montana Electric power co-op has hired an investigative attorney to look into what happened to the co-op's money.

Bankruptcy judge denies PSC bid to join Southern Montana Electric case
Mar 08, 2012 - Billings Gazette
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher on Thursday denied the Montana Public Service Commission's request to enter the case of Southern Montana Electric Transmission and Generation Cooperative.

Co-ops replace 2 of Southern's trustees for annual meeting
Mar 05, 2012 - Billings Gazette
The bankrupt Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative will have two new board trustees when it gathers for its annual meeting next Monday in Billings.

City of Great Falls' request for rate cut rejected
Mar 05, 2012 – Great Falls Tribune
An attorney for a bankrupt electric co-op this week flatly rejected a request from the city of Great Falls for a rate cut. John Parks of Denver, attorney for ...
(Abstract only available – must pay for full article)

Legal fees fuel fight in Southern Montana Co-op bankruptcy
Mar 04, 2012- Great Falls Tribune
A Billings-based electric cooperative's bankruptcy case has new fireworks, with legal fees to its appointed trustee coming under fire and the ouster of the co-op's board president by officials of his own member cooperative. In the email to Parks, James wrote that the city's contract with Southern Montana requires the co-op to sell wholesale power to the city at its actual cost plus 2 percent prior to the Highwood Generating Station becoming operational.
(Abstract only available – must pay for full article)

New power plant runs only to pass air-quality tests
Feb 24, 2012 - Billings Gazette
The Highwood Generating Station, a new natural gas power plant near Great Falls, appears to have sailed through recent air-quality tests, but the plant has sat mostly idle because it is not economical to operate.

Judge rules for Yellowstone Valley in power bill dispute
Feb 20, 2012 - Billings Gazette
A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled in favor of the Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative, saying it can recoup from its bankrupt wholesale supplier a bill it says it already paid.

Yellowstone Valley Electric wins ruling
Feb 18, 2012 – Great Falls Tribune
Southern Montana provides wholesale power to the city of Great Falls' electric utility arm, Electric City Power, which has several business and agency customers.
(Abstract only available – must pay for full article)

SME buys electricity from open market
Feb 15, 2012 – Great Falls Tribune
Boysun said Southern Montana paid more than $2 million to PPL in September but paid only a small portion ? $86,562 ? of the BPA final bill, noting PPL was the co-op's "main power supplier." Since Southern Montana members paid more than $5 million to the co-op in September, Jones said he would like to know where the rest of the money went.
(Abstract only available – must pay for full article)

Bankruptcy judge hears arguments in Southern power bill dispute
Feb 14, 2012 – Billings Gazette
The Yellowstone Valley Electric Co-op asked a federal bankruptcy judge Tuesday to allow it to recoup more than a half-million dollars from its wholesale supplier if the co-op has to pay a Bonneville Power Administration bill it claims it already paid.

Southern Montana Electric's cash position improving
Feb 14, 2012 – Billings Gazette
Attorneys for Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative told a federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday that the organization's cash position is improving.

Beartooth co-op manager resigns
Feb 02, 2012 – Billings Gazette
Beartooth Electric Cooperative manager Ron Roodell announced his resignation from the Red Lodge-based power provider Tuesday.

Bankruptcy judge considers PSC intervention in Southern case
Jan 24, 2012  – Billings Gazette
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher on Tuesday questioned whether the Montana Public Service Commission has a role as it claims in the bankruptcy of a large wholesale power cooperative.

Hearing on PSC intervention today
Jan 24, 2012 – Great Falls Tribune
In the filing, Womack wrote several parties in the bankruptcy including the city of Great Falls, and the Yellowstone Valley and Beartooth electric co-ops were "very concerned" about activities by Southern Montana's retired general manager, Tim Gregori, before his retirement, and relationships and about transactions among Southern Montana and two related organizations, SME Electric and the Independent Electricity Supply Service.
(Abstract only available – must pay for full article)

SME hires outside counsel
Jan 10, 2012 – Great Falls Tribune
Santoro told the power board that as many as 10 boxes of documents being kept by a law firm in Billings may be turned over soon to the city of Great Falls to examine.
(Abstract only available – must pay for full article)

Officials: SME erred before bankruptcy
Jan 14, 2012 – Great Falls Tribune
[...] the Great Falls plant's air-quality permit only allows the plant to run one-third of the time, while the Mill Creek plant can run virtually anytime, he said. [...] Fitzpatrick recalled reading some months ago a Gregori estimate for the cost of power from the Great Falls plant at about $72 per megawatt-hour.
(Abstract only available – must pay for full article)

2 Beartooth Electric trustees resign
Jan 04, 2012 – Billings Gazette
Two trustees of Beartooth Electric Cooperative who were targeted for recall have resigned. 

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