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Renewables Legislation Fails a Second Time

Crushing the hopes of Colorado renewable energy supporters, the state’s Senate voted 16-19 against a Renewable Portolio Standard, in its late-evening vote last Tuesday. This kills a legislated measure that would have required state electric utilities to source a small percentage of their electric power from renewable energy resources. The bill enjoyed active backing from a wide range of stakeholder communities, including agriculture, environmentalists, public interest advocates, Xcel Energy and Aquila, and many other people hoping to spur job growth, and a cleaner environment though renewable energy.

Denver, Colorado – May 11, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The energy in question may be renewable, but so was the opposition to the bill as this was the second attempt among state legislators to pass the measure. The first attempt passed the House in February, but failed to get the necessary support in the Senate. As passed by the House, the second bill would have required utilities to procure a certain amount of electricity supply from renewable sources, ramping up to 900 MW by 2010. Colorado House Speaker Lola Spradley (R-Beulah) championed the measure in the House. It was introduced as an amendment to SB 168, Senator Terry Phillips’ (D-Louisville) renewable energy cooperative bill. Now RPS supporters will attempt to take the question directly to voters in a ballot initiative. Several initiatives have been filed; the one filed by Environment Colorado and the Sierra Club would require electricity providers to get 10% of their electricity sales from renewable energy by 2012 and 20% by 2022. In a statewide poll conducted last week and released yesterday, 75% of Colorado’s registered voters expressed support for a ten-percent renewable energy standard by 2014. Even after hearing strong arguments against such a standard, voters in the survey still supported it by a margin of 64% to 24%, according to Environment Colorado.