Clean-energy standards could cost Colorado consumers billions

Clean energy requirements under consideration by the Colorado State Legislature would require some utilities to increase energy from renewable sources by 150 percent, Tracey writes, which would result in higher electricity costs.

Toby Talbot/AP/File
A wind turbine is seen in Sheffield, Vt. Compliance with potential new clean energy standards in Colorado would cost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, Tracey writes, having a potentially devastating effect on many Colorado communities.

In this tough economy, Colorado’s electricity must be produced at a price that families and small businesses can afford. Which is why SB 13-252, being considered by the Colorado State Legislature, is a step in the wrong direction. The bill would require some utilities to increase energy from renewable sources by 150%, which would result in higher electricity costs.

Interestingly, SB 13-252 was introduced without consulting the consumers that will pay for this mandate, and the cost of compliance would be hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars—having a potentially devastating effect on many Colorado communities.

According to the Pueblo Chieftain“Colorado’s rural electric cooperatives are currently required, by the year 2020, to provide 10% of their power using select renewable resources – a reasonable standard these not-for-profit, consumer-owned utilities agreed to in 2007. With co-ops aggressively adding new renewable resources in an effort to meet and even exceed this standard, new mandates are neither fair nor necessary.

And yet Senate Bill 13-252, sponsored by Colorado Springs Senator John Morse – along with Senator Gail Schwartz from Pitkin County – would increase the standard to 25% – more than doubling the current requirement while keeping the 2020 deadline for compliance in place.”

As we learned last year during a visit to western Colorado, in two small towns, cutting even 150 jobs would be devastating. Just ask the residents of Nucla and Naturita, Colorado. These towns rely heavily on the jobs from a nearby coal mine and coal-fueled power plant for their livelihood.

If you live in Colorado, click here to ask your legislator to support affordable and reliable electricity and tell them that government should not mandate higher electricity costs without considering economic impacts this bill would have on Colorado families and small businesses.

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