As a renewable energy mandate bill continues to make its way through the Colorado legislature, Tri-State, its member co-ops, the Colorado Rural Electric Association and several business organizations, agriculture industries, labor unions and rural communities are ramping up their opposition efforts to call out an unfair and misguided legislative process that would have disastrous consequences for the state’s rural economy.
Senate Bill 252, which would require Tri-State to derive 25 percent of its generation mix from renewable resources within the next six and a half years, was introduced on April 3 – well into the legislature’s 120-day session – without any opportunity for consultation or input from the G&T, its member systems or electric co-op member-consumers. It’s estimated that compliance would cost Tri-State up to $4 billion over the next 20 years.
“To be clear, Tri-State and our member systems support the use of renewable energy,” said Tri-State executive vice president and general manager Ken Anderson, “but we oppose unrealistic mandates and we object to being blindsided by a bill so late in the legislative session. At no time prior to the introduction of this bill did its sponsors or its proponents contact us or our co-ops to discuss the bill or its impacts.”
The bill was heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee just four days after it was introduced. After a seven hour hearing – during which the members of the majority party failed to ask a single question of the dozens of electric co-op member-owners in attendance – the bill was passed out of committee on a party line 3-2 margin. The measure was then passed by the full Senate, winning approval by a single vote. Continue reading ‘Fight continues against unreasonable renewable mandate legislation’