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July 2, 2001
CONTACT: Shane M. Hedges
Governorís Office

Helena, MT - July 2, 2001 -- Montana Governor Judy Martz announced today the members of the Montana Power Authority, a body created in HB 474. The MPA will be responsible for developing long-term energy policy recommendations for the Governor and issuing up to $500 million in revenue bonds to construct or purchase additional generation and transmission capacity in Montana.

Governor Martz named Lt. Governor Karl Ohs, an irrigator from Harrison; Kathy Ogren, a Missoula commercial user, businesswoman and member of the Federal Reserve Board; Karen Fagg, a Billings businesswoman with experience with energy generation; Gary Buchanan, a Billings businessman with experience in financial, banking and bonding matters; Gary Akelstad, former Senate President; Jean Turnage, retired Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice from Polson; and Steve Browning, a Helena attorney.

In a early afternoon statement, Governor Martz said that she is pleased "with the willingness of her seven appointees to help me tackle these complex issues. My appointments to the Authority are among the highest caliber Montanans and will serve this state well."

Governor Martz said she fulfilled the requirements of the legislation to consider each member's knowledge and understand of the structural and financial dimensions of the electrical energy sector of the state's economy.

"The Montana Power Authority is one of the critical components in our efforts to provide affordable, reliable power to Montana customers," said Martz. "There is no question in my mind that this group will work together to engage in partnerships with private enterprise to quickly get the generation we need online."

Lt. Governor Karl Ohs said, "I'm honored to serve the Governor in this capacity. The energy crisis in the West has been a wakeup call, and I look forward to working with this outstanding group of Montanans to capitalize on the enormous potential to make Montana a leader in energy solutions."

"There are no easy answers to the energy challenges facing Montanans, but Governor Martz has become a leader among Western Governors by making tough decisions, and I look forward to working with her to see Montana through these difficult times," noted Karen Fagg.

"I will convene the Power Authority after the holiday to provide them with an overview of the Western energy market and an update on the exciting opportunities we've been exploring," said Martz, noting that her staff would be in contact with the appointees this week to find a date suitable for all of them.

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