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Fighting Colorado’s green energy mandates

Posted by Kelly Maher on April 4th, 2011
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The American Tradition Institute (ATI) in Washington, D.C., has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Colorado, challenging the constitutionality of a requirement that 30% of electricity from investor-owned utilities (like Xcel) in Colorado be generated by renewable sources by 2020. The ATI contends the requirement violates the Commerce Clause.

“The heart of the lawsuit addresses both the uneconomical and environmentally harmful nature of wind-generated energy,” according to a press release with the lawsuit, which includes a Colorado plaintiff, Rod Lueck. “In addition to higher costs than traditional generating sources, wind energy creates more pollution because it requires coal or natural gas as backup generation when the wind either does not blow, or when it blows too hard and causes systems to shut off.”

The mania for renewable power generation in Colorado was politicized under former Gov. Bill Ritter, who (according to Denver Post columnist Vincent Carroll) now has trouble articulating and defending the economics of green energy.

Current Gov. John Hickelooper made it a point to support the 30% standard as part of his campaign last year.

But Paul Chesser, head of the ATI, wrote this in The Washington Times

“Colorado’s law mandates that 30 percent of its electricity come from renewable sources by the year 2020. That discriminates - by mandating the purchase and use of renewables - against other legal, less costly, less polluting, safer and more reliable in-state and out-of-state sources of electricity. You read that right - ‘less polluting’ and ‘safer.’”

In the video above from December, Chesser describes what he calls climate-change alarmism.

That’s part of what’s driven the agenda in Colorado and we’re living the economic consequences. According to William Yeatman, an electricity rate expert for ATI, writing for the Independence Institute:

“Over the next decade, Colorado working families and businesses will have to pay at least $3.8 billion in additional electricity costs that will not be subject to any rate cap in order to meet the [Renewable Electricity Standard] and will be collected from ratepayers via the [Electric Commodity Adjustment],” he wrote.

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  • Post by Kelly Maher on April 4th, 2011

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