The Colorado Consumer Coalition is urging the General Assembly to stop and weigh its options rather than pursue fast-tracked legislation that it claims will to cost the state’s Xcel Energy ratepayers an extra $132 million over the next 10 years.
Posted by Staff
An appeal from the Colorado Consumer Coalition published in the latest issue of the Colorado Statesman newspaper also urges lawmakers to “not rubber-stamp another rate hike”—and instead endorse a pending, alternative plan that will go a lot easier on consumers.
“Xcel ratepayers have seen their power bills jump 20% over the past 6 years,” the coalition’s appeal states. “And those bills will increase another 21% by 2017. Enough is enough!”
The coalition’s ad further notes that the problematic legislation in question, which affirms an air-quality mandate approved earlier by state regulators, “won’t leave our air any cleaner than a far more affordable plan that Xcel urged state regulators to adopt last year.”
The coalition asserts that the more affordable plan—Senate Bill 236, just introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Lois Tochtrop, of Thornton, and now awaiting a committee hearing— “is a Colorado solution that restores Xcel’s preferred option, fully meeting new stringent federal air-quality standards—while also giving hard-pressed ratepayers a break.”
The Coalition’s public statement in the Statesman goes on to detail what Xcel itself had to say about its preferred plan in filings before the Public Utilities Commission last year. Xcel said that plan, embraced in Tochtrop’s new bill:
• “… is the least cost way to meet both the nitrogen oxide emission reductions required by the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act and to meet current and reasonably foreseeable emission reduction requirements under both state and federal law.”
• “… will be the best buy for all of our customers and have the least impact on low income customers.”
• “… is likely to help protect Colorado customers from future cost increases due to environmental regulation.”
• “… preserves reliable electric service for Colorado consumers.”
• “… best serves the public interest.”
Tochtrop has said she looks forward to a timely and fair hearing for her measure.
The public statement in the Statesman concluded by stating, “Colorado consumers deserve affordable power and clean air. Senate Bill 236 is by far the best bet for Colorado’s air—and for Colorado’s consumers.”