History of Energy in Montana

Montana's Energy History

The history of energy development in Montana is very closely tied to our varied geology and powerful forces of nature. 

Geological events occurred over millions of years laid down coal seams that underlie in approximately one third of our state. Domes of crude oil and natural gas formed and over-thrusts raised up our mountain ranges to collect precipitation as snow. Major river basins drain the snowmelt to both sides of the Continental Divide. Prevailing winds from the west gain momentum as they plunge off the spine of the continent and onto the Montana plains. The resulting weather patterns offer many cloudless days over much of the state.

These are the base factors that underpin Montana's energy resources of coal, oil, gas and renewable sources such as  hydro-powerwind-power, and solar. See below for more information on electricity generation, oil & gas development, and coal.