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Extremely disappointing, but absolutely not surprising. Since the PUC colluded with the Democratic majority in both houses, Gas intervenors, the environmentalists, and the Governor's office, this deal was sealed when HB 10-1365 entered the legislative arena, hence the short time frame from introduction to signing. Not to mention that the Chairman of the PUC and another member of the PUC should have been disqualified from the proceeding by prejudging the docket(motion filed, backed up by FOIA records obtained), not to mention, that the cleaned up coal option met ALL of the clean air standards, including any "reasonable foreseable" regulations that might come down the road, and was also the hands down cheapest option for the ratepayers, (PUC's job is to represent the rate payers), not to mention, that this was to clean up the front range-Colorado air quality, when the air quality issue is us all driving our gas guzzlers. Almost humerous that Chairman Binz indicated that he advocated monies be set aside to re-train and re-mobolize unemployed coal miners. Where, and to do what, do we think there are jobs that we can retrain this speciality work force into a labor market that doesn't exist. Maybe we can retrain them in the renewable energy business, think about it NOT!!! I was surprised that Chairman Binz did not think about setting up a set aside for the amount of monies that the local governments of Northwestern Colorado will no longer receive. The bottom line is this work force will leave our area with their high paying jobs and go to areas that support extraction industries that improve our environmental conditions, and local governments will have less revenue to take care of local government needs (Twentymile coal largest taxpayer in Routt county). Extremely disappointing in a time when we are trying to create jobs and prop up the stagnant economy, we would hurt one of the most important "OTHER-non tourism" industries that create and maintain long term high paying jobs in our two county region. Also don't think that you won't be affected. We are included in the rate payers, so not only do we take it on the short end on the labor and employment side, we will get to share in the solution to the front range HAZE solution, the initial rate forcasts included a 50% increase in rates just to take care of the decommissioning and rebuilding of the gas plants, that does not include the continued increase in utilities based on the fuel costs(not yet known, could be as much as 200%, sorry no one really knows the number), realizing that we now are heading into a solesource fuel source and will be subject in the long term to the Natural Gas Markets. I'm sure we will get over this, and the world will go on, but I guarantee, that our Governor and our legislators and the Enviro's have insured that the economic recovery in NW Colo. will be longer and deeper than needed no matter happens globally.
Doug Monger Routt County Commissioner
Last login: Friday, February 14, 2014
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