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Colorado Independent energy and environmental reporter David O. Williams will appear tonight on the Rocky Mountain PBS show “Colorado State of Mind” on a panel that includes former Gov. Bill Ritter, Public Service Company of Colorado (Xcel Energy) president and CEO David Eves and Western Resource Advocates executive director Karin Sheldon.
Hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon, who has been battling Xcel Energy in its bid to run new transmission lines across his massive Trinchera Ranch in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, apparently wins even if he loses. The Denver Post Friday reported Bacon's hedge fund, Moore Capital Management, owns nearly $56 million in Xcel stock and stands to profit from the power lines that will connect the sun-soaked San Luis Valley and its many solar power facilities to Colorado’s Front Range cities.
State Sen. Gail Schwartz, an ardent champion of alternative forms of energy, has scheduled a hearing of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee today to examine a plan by Xcel Energy to make cuts to its popular Solar Rewards rebate program for home solar installations.
Read the news these days; read about protests. Over the past weekend, Colorado environmental activists joined the movement by taking their long list of frustrations to the government’s steps in three rallies in Denver and Boulder.
Backers of a bill that would have prompted the study of a “feed-in-tariff” program in Colorado to connect renewable energy generators to the grid say the state’s major utilities quietly killed the legislation in committee last week because of their “continuing love affair with fossil fuels.”
Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Chairman Ron Binz – a GOP and coal industry piñata the last several months – called it quits Thursday, telling the Denver Post he’s returning to consulting work for groups that promote clean energy.
Opinions are mixed as Boulder considers whether to forge stronger relationship with Xcel or form its own municipal utility provider.
Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, at a public meeting Friday said that by restoring tax rates to minimally higher levels, the state’s higher education crisis could be somewhat alleviated. Pointing to the tragic events last week in Arizona, Heath also argued that we must invest more in Colorado’s beleaguered public mental health services to help prevent similar tragedies from occurring here.
Xcel produces 1,410 megawatts of electricity in Pueblo -- enough to power at least a million homes -- but sells none of it to local residents. It does, indirectly, sell a percentage of that power to Pueblo households through Black Hills, which has a franchise agreement with the city, but will do so only until the end of next year, when the current contract is set to expire.
An administrative law judge's decree that Xcel Energy must “put its money where its mouth is” has cast an ominous cloud over a 140-mile power line proposed in Colorado's sun-drenched San Luis Valley. Conservationists and the state's largest utility argue the line is desperately needed in order to bolster Colorado's renewable energy portfolio, but an evironmentally-minded billionaire landowner says there are viable alternatives that won't have nearly the impact on his sprawling Trinchera Ranch.