Letter to the Editor: Bill could affect a lot
September 27, 2010
To the editor:
We have been reading and hearing all the stuff about Colorado House Bill 10-1365 and thought it was time to say something about it.
Yes, we all know that the people involved in getting the bill passed did a great job of getting it through the back door. That's government at its finest.
What most people don't get is it's not just about our jobs in the coal mines — it's about Northwest Colorado and the people who live here.
Does anyone remember when Roy Romer was governor? They said back then it was coal that was causing the brown cloud over Denver.
Well, they did a study and the study showed that coal was only 2 percent of the pollution and the automobiles were 98 percent. After that, they left the coal industry alone until now.
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The only time the Front Range sees us is when they want our water and taxes. But, what they don't get is if this all comes to play, there will be no taxes because there will be no jobs and then a ripple effect starts through Northwest Colorado. And don't kid yourself — this will hit the whole state, housing market, schools, stores, and let's not talk about the unemployment rate.
The list goes on and on.
But, if Colorado wants to be a leader in clean air and clean jobs, let's be the first in 50 states to work with the coal mines. There is clean technology out for coal mines if the state and Xcel would just try.
The cost to retrofit the plants is going to cost a ton of money, and you can bet your dollar Xcel Energy is not going to pick up the bill. The consumer is, and the gas for this is not coming out of Colorado. Maybe it's coming from Texas or Wyoming; who knows? And they can't guarantee the price on the gas. Sounds like Craig's gas prices.
We are sure if they fix the power plants to work better with coal, the cost would be high but not as much as the cost to retrofit to gas. What happens if we run out of gas since it takes twice as much gas to turn on a light as it does with coal? Are they going to say sorry and go back to coal? We believe Xcel is not about the people, but the almighty dollar for themselves.
People in Northwest Colorado live here for a reason. We like the great outdoors and not sitting on top of each other. Some have been here for a very long time. We hope the Colorado Public Utilities Commission has its head on and looks at the really big picture of what this can do to our state and communities.
Xcel only cares about Xcel. And don't get us started on John Hickenlooper.
Carol Balleck, Linda Lee,