The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Xcel Energy, and Governor Bill Ritter colluded to fast track the misnamed Clean Air Clean Jobs Act (HB 1365), which effectively mandates coal-fired power plants to switch to natural gas. The trio essentially duped lawmakers into hasty passage of this bill. They warned legislators that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would crack down on Colorado coal power with the Clean Air Act. But that was really a bogeyman meant to frighten lawmakers. While it is true that President Barack Obama’s EPA is hostile to coal-generated energy, the governor and the PUC grossly exaggerated the regulatory threat in order to advance their agenda, and Xcel went along with the ruse.
After rushing the bill’s passage under false pretenses, the trio rushed its implementation to avoid consideration of less costly alternatives that easily could meet the EPA’s Clean Air Act guidelines. Xcel makes a nice profit, while Governor Ritter and the PUC satisfy their anti-coal agenda, and ratepayers pay the price. William Yeatman and Amy Oliver Cooke – Colorado’s Clean Air Jobs Act Will Accomplish Neither – HB 1365