A setback for openness but fight will continue

The Colorado Electric Consumers’ Protection Act (Senate Bill 258) was introduced to give Coloradans a greater say in how to make the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan work in our state.

The bill had won bipartisan backing in the Colorado Senate, but Monday it fell short of the needed votes in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

Senate Bill 258 highlighted the need for accountability, openness and public input as Colorado considers how to implement the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which threatens the affordability and reliability of electricity for consumers.

Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Vincent Carroll wrote that implementing the EPA plan is “the most important task facing state officials in the next 13 months” and said Senate Bill 258’s “components are critical to ensuring a transparent process and a fully vetted proposal.” The Pueblo Chieftain said the bill’s provisions offered “practical control for Colorado’s ecological and economic futures.”

No surprise then that the bill was endorsed by 17 organizations representing farmers, businesses, rural electric cooperatives and individual consumers from around the state. 

Even without the legislation, we will continue to promote the values Senate Bill 258 promoted. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has committed to an open process as it reviews the EPA plan. The agency also indicated it will consult with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, which considers costs to consumers like you.

We’d like to take a moment to thank the bill’s lead sponsors, Sens. John Cooke and Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Timothy Dore, for their leadership.   

We’d also like to thank the other senators who voted for Senate Bill 258:

  • David Balmer 
  • Randy Baumgardner
  • Bill Cadman
  • Larry Crowder
  • Leroy Garcia
  • Kevin Grantham
  • Owen Hill
  • Mary Hodge
  • Chris Holbert
  • Cheri Jahn
  • Kent Lambert
  • Kevin Lunberg
  • Vicki Marble
  • Beth Martinez Humenik
  • Tim Neville
  • Ellen Roberts
  • Mark Scheffel
  • Ray Scott
  • Laura Woods

Thanks also to the members of the Colorado House who voted for the bill in committee:

  • Stephen Humphrey
  • Patrick Neville
  • Jack Tate
  • Dan Thurlow
  • Yeulin Willett

To keep electricity affordable, we must be vigilant. As always, we’ll keep you posted about other opportunities to have your say.