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AFP-CO Helps Derail Secret City "Deal" With Green Exortionists

December 17, 2012

Americans for Prosperity activists and allies did it again last week, successfully urging the Colorado Springs Utilities Board to stand up to green extremists by rejecting a secret deal, drawn-up behind closed doors, that would have halted installation of clean coal upgrades at the city-owned Drake Power Plant, while buying the anti-coal extremists at The Sierra Club time to plot their next move. A board majority bravely stood-up to the intimidation tactics of lawsuit-happy green extremists, and defended the interests of Colorado Springs Utilities owners and customers, while also declining to approve an agreement that was negotiated in secrecy and wasn’t even presented to the public before a vote was taken.

AFP State Director Jeff Crank called it a win for common sense and an open and honest public process. “We at AFP believe the board made the courageous and correct choice yesterday, by rejecting unwise concessions banged-out in secret deals while operating under duress,” said AFP State Director Jeff Crank. “Bravo to those on the board who voted against acts of legal extortion by litigious extremists.”

The “deal” was hastily put up for a vote Thursday afternoon, after months of closed-door meetings and without the public even knowing what was in it – an alarming lack of open public process that by itself was highly objectionable. But the board voted 5 to 3 to reject making any concessions to the groups, after hearing from hundreds of activists in AFP’s grassroots network.

Those on the board who wisely rejected the “deal,” and correctly took a stand against closed-door deal-making, were Bernie Herpin, Scott Hente, Jan Martin, Lisa Czeladtko and Brandy Williams. Those who were willing to approve the secret pact, without the public ever seeing what was in it, were Tim Leigh, Merv Bennett and Val Snider.

Anti-coal fanatics at the Sierra Club are hoping to close the facility, along with every other coal-fired power plant in the country, no matter the costs or consequences for local utility users, and the group hoped to use the threat of a lawsuit to win concessions from Colorado Springs that it wouldn’t win in court. Some in city leadership wanted to knuckle-under to the group. But a majority took a principled stand against legal intimidation tactics and backroom dealing — with a helpful nudge from hundreds of AFP activists who weighed-in.

“The Sierra Club is leading a reckless national effort to stop all use of coal, which still accounts for roughly 40 percent of all the electricity Americans use,” said Crank, who also pointed out that the Drake plant generates roughly 30 percent of the city’s power. “And when they bring that crazy agenda to Colorado Springs, we think it’s important not to preemptively capitulate to it, but to fight it.”

More details about AFP’s objections to the secret negotiations can be found http://monkeywrenchingamerica.com/?p=2230 and http://monkeywrenchingamerica.com/?p=2259.

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