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CREA Working to Pass H.B. 12-1160 in Colorado State Senate

March 9, 2012

Representatives of the Colorado Rural Electric Association and Holy Cross Energy met this morning with Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass Village) to discuss H.B. 12-1160, a bill that includes coal mine methane gas as an eligible energy resource under the Colorado renewable portfolio standard.

CREA and Holy Cross support the bill, which would encourage the development of local electricity generation and local jobs by giving RPS credit to electricity produced from burning methane. Currently, naturally-occurring methane escapes from some active and inactive coal mines in Colorado and contributes to overall greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists say that methane is many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. If the methane can be captured and used for electricity production, the greenhouse gas impacts are greatly reduced.

Although many environmental advocates support H.B. 12-1160 for its greenhouse gas-reducing and job-creating benefits, others are attempting to derail the bill. They were successful in making this a partisan issue in the House of Representatives which passed the bill on a largely party line vote. There should be no partisan divide on this issue, however, as the bill is a win-win-win: good for energy independence, good for Colorado jobs, and good for the environment.

We applaud the continuing efforts of Sen. Schwartz to move the bill forward and ask all the members of the Senate Local Government Committee to support H.B. 12-1160.

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