Central Planners Take Aim at Rural Energy Users

April 16, 2013

Environmental extremists and their friends in the legislature are at it again — aiming to impose Soviet-style energy mandates on rural Colorado that will jack-up future utility bills beyond what most folks can afford.

If informed and active energy consumers don’t battle back now, already-struggling Coloradans will be paying more for electricity, just so a bunch of liberal politicos can pat themselves on the back for making gestures they think will “save the planet.”

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the “5 year plans” for which the former Soviet Union was infamous – top-down mandates that attempted to replace the wisdom of the free market with the “expertise” of bureaucrats and politicians. We have something similar in the U.S.: they’re called renewable energy production mandates, which force utilities to generate or procure a rigid quota of expensive niche renewable energy, whether or not it’s cost-effective and makes sense for their customers.

Colorado’s already taken modest steps down this road to central planning. Now some in the Statehouse want us to increase the quotas beyond what’s already proposed, with no consideration of what this will cost utility customers. It’s a policy the former Soviet Union would be proud of, but which has no place in a supposedly-free country, where free markets and consumer choice are supposed to rule.

Every major newspaper in Colorado has condemned this next step in the direction of a top-down, command-and-control energy policy. But if average people aren’t heard from, we fear that Statehouse Democrats will plow ahead.

Follow this link now to weigh in with your legislator in protest of Soviet-style central planning. Or read on to get more details about what this terrible bill, SB-252, will do.   

The bill in question, SB-252, will more than double the renewable energy production mandates imposed on rural Colorado energy co-ops from 10% to 25% by 2020. You read that right – from 10% to 25%. That could cost the non-profit rural electric co-ops between $2.5 billion to $4.1 billion, which would naturally get passed on to their customers in the form higher utility bills.

SB-252 was submitted in a rush and written behind closed doors with environmental special interests. No input from rural energy co-ops or their customers was invited. If approved and signed by Gov. Hickenlooper electric rates in these rural co-op areas will skyrocket. Jobs and businesses will be driven out of state because of high electricity costs. This will devastate rural economies.

We cannot let them get away with this. Our family budgets are already stretched to the limit. Click here to tell your legislators “Don’t increase my electric rates.”

We need to fight back. Write to your legislators today by clicking here.

Thank you for standing up the environmental extremists and their agenda!


Sean Paige
Colorado Deputy State Director
Americans for Prosperity

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