DENVER, Colo. – Colorado utility customers took it in the pocketbook again Monday at Colorado’s Statehouse, courtesy of House Democrats, when a bill aimed at modifying controversial and costly renewable energy mandates died in committee on a party-line vote.
Sen. Ray Scott, who authored the bill with fellow Grand Junction Republican Rep. Dan Thurlow, expressed frustration with the vote, saying it showed that too many Statehouse Democrats remained tone-deaf to the concerns and interests of Colorado energy consumers.
“Coloradans simply can’t afford any additional costs that these Denver-knows-best energy mandates impose from on high,” said Scott. “That Democrats aren’t willing to admit that they overreached on these mandates, or agree to more reasonable and achievable benchmarks, says to me that they didn’t learn much from the recent elections and still don’t care much about average Coloradans.”
SB-44, which died Monday on a party line vote of the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, would have reduced the minimum percentage of renewable energy required of investor-owned utilities from 20% to 15% for the years 2015 through 2019, and from 30% to 15% for the years 2020 and thereafter.
Scott said he’s philosophically opposed to micromanaging energy choices through such one-size-fits-all mandates, but is equally concerned about the additional costs utility customers often bear when expensive and unreliable “renewable” energy is favored over more affordable and reliable alternatives. “If renewable energy made good economic sense, it wouldn’t need mandates to create itself a market and Colorado’s energy providers would be working it in to the mix without prompting from politicians in Denver.”