Backers of a buy-the-hydro dams initiative in Montana, US, have filed a petition with Secretary of State to create a public power commission responsible for determining if it is in the public interest for the state to buy any or all of the 11 hydroelectric dams that Montana Power sold to PPL Montana in 1999.

The state would use any dams it did buy to supply electricity to current residential and commercial Montana Power customers. If the commission decided to buy dams, it would negotiate with PPL for a price. If negotiations failed, the commission would have the authority to condemn the dams and pay fair market value for them.

To pay for the dams, the state could issue up to US$500M in general revenue bonds, which would be repaid through electricity sales, not tax dollars.