Ray Dubois: Help needed to kill HB 10-1365

Trapper president: ‘Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act’ a threat to area jobs

Colorado House Bill 10-1365 has been erroneously named the “Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act.”

The name sure sounds good, but if the bill passes, Colorado stands to lose jobs, and most consumers will pay higher energy prices.

Gov. Bill Ritter talks about jobs that will be created, but some very staunch supporters of the natural gas industry say that not only will Colorado lose coal jobs, but that this bill will promote out-of-state natural gas industry jobs.

In an effort to ease our pain, supporters of the bill tell us that the lost jobs will be from out-of-state coal mines because Xcel’s plants use out-of-state coal.

However, the Federal Energy Regulatory Com­mission reports that two of three Xcel plants on the Front Range targeted for switching from coal to natural gas have been using primarily Colorado coal.

We not only stand to lose well-paying, long-lasting Colorado jobs, but we also face substantially higher energy prices.

The Denver Post recently reported that even without this huge fuel switching legislation that “Xcel Energy on (March 15, 2010) filed for a $52.7 million rate increase for this spring, raising the average bill about 8 percent — to cover the increased winter costs of fuel and energy. An increase in the cost of natural gas and in the demand for energy during the cold winter months led to the added costs, the utility said in a statement.”

“It is a dollar-for-dollar pass-through,” Xcel spokesman Tom Henley said in a statement, according to the Post.

Even though Xcel would like for us to believe that it will not make a penny on this legislation because higher gas costs are a “dollar-for-dollar pass-through,” they fail to point out that the gas-friendly Colorado Public Utilities Commission will allow Xcel to make a bundle if they modify their plants to eliminate the use of coal.

For instance, Colorado Energy News reported that “in Xcel’s latest rate case in December, the PUC approved a 10.5 percent return on invested capital.”

This means that we will not only overpay for our electricity because of high-priced natural gas, but we will also pay the cost plus an additional rate of return to have Xcel retool or replace their Front Range plants when they do away with low-cost Colorado coal.

All of us in the Yampa Valley need to understand that we buy our electricity through Yampa Valley Electric Association, but that YVEA purchases nearly all of our electricity from Xcel Energy.

And even though the electricity for our homes and businesses in the Yampa Valley basically is generated at our local coal-fired power plants, of which Xcel is part owner, when Xcel decides to increase costs on the Front Range, the Yampa Valley gets hit with the costs, as well.

Call our state senators at 303-866-2316 and tell them to vote no on this bad piece of legislation. Sen. Al White and Rep. Randy Baumgardner on our side, but they can let you know who needs to be contacted to help kill this bill.

Ray Dubois is the president of Trapper Mining Inc.

Comments

als362 4 years ago

Contact your Senators and Congressmen and tell them that this is a bad idea for Colorado.

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WTF 4 years ago

Why can’t those from the east leave us alone. Western Slop Colorado has been the step child of Colorado for too long. There needs to be a change to green energy I understand that, but do it in away or at a time when you will not destroy small communities. We cannot take hard times, add more hard times and then expect good. If you’re going to convert to green energy go to the communities where fossil fuels are used and fund the transfer, or create incentives to help the community transition. To show up one day and say hey no more, is like in showing up in the middle of a baseball game, stealing the ball and replacing it with a football. We are in the energy game don’t come to our field and steal the ball unless you are going to replace the whole game, and keep the player. Enough people are out of work, this is not the time to displace more. Do it but do it in an economically sound way. Why does there have to be a punishment to fossil fuel sources, with no incentives to change to green? Look at the last time of horrible economics, the government poured money into infrastructure, e.g. roads dams power plant, ect.. Why are we not doing this now, wall street does not run this country hard working Americans do. Put more people to work and the economy will fix its self. Regulate wall street, and protect the consumer; the consumer will spend, the company will profit and the government will too. We look an consumer economics as laissez-faire, but corporations as “to big to fail”

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GreyStone 4 years ago

WTF,

Lot of good points, However, I think Wall Street and our politicians do run this country to the detriment of the working people . Politicians do not just place their wealth in a local bank, they invest that wealth on Wall Street, so, we can not expect our politicians to be very objective when we ask them to regulate Wall Street, or the clean air in this country…they will be looking out for their wealth. The working class will always be on the short list.

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firstofthefallen 4 years ago

When the few and the priviledged control the wealth, economy and the politicians to the detriment of the working class it it called communism, not capitalism.

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WTF 4 years ago

Didn't we learn, oh,,, in the 1920's and 30s' that polarization of wealth was not productive, or a constituent of economic health

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