skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

PUC scales back renewable electricity, adds new natural-gas plants

play audio
Play

Monday, January 8, 2024   

Even though 2023 was the hottest year on record, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission is adding more fossil fuel-generated power and scaling back Xcel Energy's proposed investments in clean energy.

The commission has been on the hot seat to rein in high energy bills, largely due to volatile natural gas prices, and claimed its recently approved energy plan for Xcel is a win for ratepayers.

Noah Rott, western region deputy press secretary for the Sierra Club, said they got the math wrong.

"The plan that was approved is 23% more expensive than Xcel's portfolio that they proposed on a dollar-per-megawatt basis," Rott pointed out.

The commission's plan added 669 megawatts from new gas power plants, which critics contended are likely to become stranded assets as Colorado and the world face a looming 2030 deadline to avert the worst impacts of climate change by dramatically cutting fossil fuel pollution. Xcel has argued natural gas is needed to maintain reliable service.

The commission acknowledged the renewables they rejected in Xcel's initial proposal will be needed in the near future, but balked at the company's $15 billion price tag. By delaying investments in renewables and transmission lines, the commission hopes to better understand costs to ratepayers.

Rott emphasized punting on clean energy could result in even higher energy bills for ratepayers.

"The problem with that logic is that if Xcel is buying renewable electricity four or five years from now, instead of two or three years from now, four or five years from now it might be more expensive than it is now," Rott asserted.

The commission's plan would increase Xcel's renewable-energy portfolio to 77% by 2030 and invests in 678 megawatts of renewable-energy battery storage. But Rott noted it also cuts more than 2,000 megawatts of wind and solar capacity proposed by Xcel.

"It's a disappointing outcome in terms of reducing carbon emissions," Rott added. "But it's also a disappointing outcome, I think, for customers who were really actually excited to hear that Xcel was going to build out a ton of renewable energy."

Disclosure: The Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

Environment

play sound

Balancing the needs of the many with those who have traditionally reaped benefits from public lands is behind a new rule issued Thursday by the Bureau…


Health and Wellness

play sound

Alzheimer's disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Remember Me: …

Social Issues

play sound

April is Financial Literacy Month, when the focus is on learning smart money habits but also how to protect yourself from fraud. One problem on the …


Outdoor recreation added $11.7 million to the Arizona economy in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Arizona conservation groups and sportsmen alike say they're pleased the Bureau of Land Management will now recognize conservation as an integral part …

play sound

Across the U.S., most political boundaries tied to the 2020 Census have been in place for a while, but a national project on map fairness for …

The 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation Data Book ranked Arkansas 37th in the nation for education, and said 56% of young children were not in preschool programs to help get them ready for school. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The need for child care and early learning is critical, especially in rural Arkansas. One nonprofit is working to fill those gaps by giving providers …

Environment

play sound

An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Gallup and Lumina Foundation poll unveils a concerning reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education. The survey …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021