Renewable energy mandate bill passes Monday in Senate
Craig — The Colorado Senate passed this week a bill that aims to increase renewable energy mandates on rural electricity cooperatives from 10 to 25 percent by 2020.
Senate Bill 13-252 passed the Senate late Monday by a vote of 18-17. Two Democrats, Mary Hodge, of Brighton, and Lois Tochtrop, of Thornton, joined Senate Republicans in opposition of the measure.
The bill now moves on to the House of Representatives for consideration.
In a news release issued Monday, Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, touted the bill’s passage, saying it brings Colorado one step closer to a comprehensive and robust statewide clean energy strategy.
Morse, along with Senate Majority Whip Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, is a primary sponsor of the bill.
“This bill will help clean our air while providing rural jobs,” Morse said in the release. “Renewable energy prices are dropping consistently, while the cost of fossil fuels is unstable. We need to make this investment now to ensure that energy prices stay steady, and we are not relying on dirty fossil fuels.”
The release also makes a point to note language in the bill that caps increases to customer utility bills at 2 percent.
Jim Van Someren, communications manager for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in Westminster, said Tuesday that the 2 percent cap is an unrealistic expectation.
“No one has been able to fully explain what that means or how that is going to work, even the bill’s sponsor,” Van Someren said.
Tri-State operates Craig Station and owns Trapper Mine.
“A 20 to 25 percent increase is probably a more reasonable expectation considering infrastructure costs over the next six years or so are estimated at $4 billion,” Van Someren said. “Because we’re a cooperative, those costs will be passed on to our members and their customers.”
Joe Moylan can be reached at 970-875-1794 or email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Starting Friday, Colorado counties will be left to decide how to control rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations as the statewide COVID-19 dial system, which has set public health restrictions for the past seven months, moves…