Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after meeting with U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman. Tester told Poneman that the owners of the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company (CFAC) need to reopen the plant under a 10-year contract with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) or allow plant workers to negotiate alternative options with the company:
"The hard-working Montanans who made CFAC a strong part of Montana's economy deserve a seat at the table. Montana families have been waiting for nearly three years for some certainty and we need a decision on the plant's future. BPA's long-term contract is a reasonable offer and CFAC's owners should be trying to put folks back to work."
Senator Tester has fought to secure a reasonable power contract between BPA and Glencore, the plant's owner, for years. His staff also recently met with representatives of CFAC employees.