GOP Win(d)less on Renewable Energy Rollbacks

(Jan. 30) – A second Republican effort to increase Colorado’s reliance on polluting fossil fuels ran out of gas today in the House Transportation & Energy Committee.

HB14-1113 was an effort by Rep. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) to slash the state’s renewable energy standard to a uniform 15 percent. Currently, electrical providers in urban areas are required to generate 30 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, and rural providers have to meet a 20 percent standard by the same deadline.

“The experts have told us that our renewable energy standard is feasible and that it includes effective provisions to protect consumers from sudden price increases,” said Rep. Max Tyler (D-Lakewood), chairman of the Transportation & Energy Committee, which killed the Scott bill on a 8-5 vote. “The people have told us, in statewide surveys and when I’m talking to folks in my district, that they strongly support renewable energy and the jobs that sector produces. The market has told us that renewable energy costs are competitive with fossil fuel costs. Reversing course would be a real setback for our state.”

The action came a day after the same committee rejected HB14-1067, a bill by Rep. Kathleen Conti (R-Littleton) to move the deadline for compliance with the renewable energy standard to 2025 instead of 2020.

Reducing the RES to 15 percent would allow electricity providers to comply with the new law without building a single new wind turbine or solar collector, and extending the RES to 2025 would reduce the number of jobs created by renewable energy construction.

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