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Governor HIckenlooper: Please Veto SB 13-252

May 8, 2013

Today is the 120th and last day of the 2013 Colorado General Assembly. With just five weeks to go in the session, a bill that will dramatically impact how electric co-ops provide power to their member-owners was introduced without any input from the co-ops. That bill, SB 13-252, contains many provisions that impact electric co-op power supply requirements. Most importantly, the bill doubles the amount of power that electric co-ops are required to incorporate into their power supply from renewable resources, requiring our power supply to be 20% renewable resources by the year 2020.

Colorado’s electric co-ops have supported the responsible and timely integration of renewable energy resources into our power supply mix since the passage of HB 07-1281 back in 2007. We agreed at that time to a 10% RPS by the year 2020 and are on track to meet that standard. With the adoption of SB 13-252, the legislature has doubled that standard with no additional time to meet it. 

Not a single person in the electric co-op community was consulted before SB 13-252 was introduced on April 3. None of the legislative proponents or renewable developer advocates were at all concerned about how this mandate might impact rural electricity consumers or whether it was even possible to achieve. Companies like Vestas, Dow Solar, and Iberdrola Renewables testified that the bill was necessary to increase their market share. After many hours of testimony in both houses of the legislature, the bill was passed on a party line vote with only two amendments: lowering the initial 25% requirement to 20% and slightly lowering the distributed generation requirement for smaller co-ops.

The only exceptions to the party line separation on the bill were the “no” votes cast by State Senators Mary Hodge and Lois Tochtrop. Senators Hodge and Tochtrop deserve a lot of credit for standing with electricity consumers and against their caucus. It was extremely disappointing that some rural legislators did not see fit to support their electric co-ops and oppose SB 13-252.

We call on Governor Hickenlooper to veto SB 13-252 and convene a legitimate stakeholder process in which the concerns of electric co-op directors, managers and member-owners can be heard. We are prepared to be positive participants in a process that will move the ball forward on the development of renewable energy in Colorado.  Please contact the Governor at 303-866-2471 and urge him to veto SB 13-252. 


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