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PNS Daily Newscast - November 22, 2017 


Haitian communities vow to fight Trump moves to terminate legal status; also on the rundown; an update on the trial of an activist who shut down a pipeline; a new poll shows Americans want to talk turkey not politics, on Thanksgiving; and just ahead of Black Friday - Cyber Security an emerging toy-safety concern.

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Parents' Group to Push for Xcel Clean-Energy Plan

A proposal by Xcel Energy would add more than $2 billion in renewable-energy investments in Colorado, and retire two of three coal-fired plants at the Comanche Generating Station. (Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons)
A proposal by Xcel Energy would add more than $2 billion in renewable-energy investments in Colorado, and retire two of three coal-fired plants at the Comanche Generating Station. (Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons)
September 1, 2017

DENVER – Parents are praising Xcel Energy's proposal to retire two of three coal-fired power units at Pueblo's Comanche Generating Station and add renewable energy to Colorado's power grid.

Jen Clanahan, with the group Colorado Moms Know Best, says she's optimistic about the move and is urging the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to take the company's plan to heart.

"Parents want nothing more than to have their kids grow up happy and healthy," she says. "And so, if we can do something like clean up our air, that's going to lead to healthier children. Of course, we're going to be enthusiastic about that."

Coal-fired power plants are a leading cause of smog, acid rain and toxic air pollution - according to the Union of Concerned Scientists - and also are the nation's biggest source of CO2 emissions, the primary cause of climate change.

Xcel's plan did not get cheers from GOP leaders, including state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, who told the Denver Post the proposal amounts to an end run around the state Legislature.

Clanahan says any plan that reduces air pollution in Colorado deserves a closer look because most parents want kids to be able to play and grow up in clean air. She notes toxins released by coal-burning plants can lead to life-threatening illnesses including asthma attacks.

"And therefore a parent's got to take their child into the emergency room to help them breathe," she adds. "We've got something in the neighborhood of 10,000 such attacks every year, and that's costing Colorado families millions and millions of dollars in hospital bills."

Clanahan says closing the Pueblo units is especially important for low-income families and communities of color living in the shadow of the plant. But she says since air pollution isn't confined to any particular city, switching to cleaner sources such as wind and solar would be a win for all Coloradans.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO