skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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

SCOTUS rules for Trump on ballot issue; CA high school students earn Google Career Certificates in high-demand fields; NY faith leaders help people address ecological grief; and a group offers abortion travel benefits for Mississippi women.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The SCOTUS rules no state can remove a federal candidate from an election ballot saying that power rests with Congress, Super Tuesday primaries are today in sixteen states and a Colorado Court rules in the killing of Elijah McClain in police custody.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Xcel Plan to Reduce Emissions Includes Untested Technologies

play audio
Play

Wednesday, August 16, 2023   

In 2021, Colorado lawmakers required utilities supplying natural gas for heating homes and businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4% by 2025, and by 22% by 2030.

This month Xcel Energy released its Clean Heat Plan, the first of its kind in the nation, which outlines how the company will meet those targets.

Brett Anton, field organizer for the Colorado chapter of the Sierra Club, explained some of the company's options.

"There are a number of different ways it can do that," Anton outlined. "It can do that through electrification and energy efficiency, which we view as the best and the safest way to do things."

Xcel said it is committed to delivering lower-carbon energy service to its customers, but insists natural gas is the most affordable way to heat homes and businesses. The company's plan also includes what Anton described as untested and expensive technologies, including biofuels and hydrogen. The public can comment on the plan at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission website, puc.colorado.gov.

Natural gas emissions are over 85 times more potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. The world's leading scientists have repeatedly warned in order to avert catastrophic impacts of climate change, emissions from burning fossil fuels must be reduced by 45% by 2030, and reach net-zero by 2050.

Anton argued now is the time to move away from natural gas infrastructure and gas appliances in homes and buildings.

"Hitting this 22% is really central," Anton stressed. "Emissions from buildings are 20% of our energy-related emissions. Building emissions are the third-largest sector in Colorado."

Cost continues to be a barrier for low-income consumers to switch from natural gas to electric heating and cooling solutions. Anton pointed out Colorado officials can now apply for federal funds to help people who cannot afford to install heat pumps and replace gas-powered furnaces, ovens and other appliances.

"The Department of Energy released guidance for $8.5 billion that are going to start going out to states for home electrification and efficiency," Anton noted. "The guidance requests that states put at least half their program funds to low-income households. So this is an opportunity."

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
"Every Arizonan is frustrated by the federal government's failure to secure our border. But passing job killing, anti-business bills that demonize our communities is not the solution," said Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs. (Eduardo Barraza/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature has passed a number of bills that some immigration advocates are calling "SB 1070 2.0." Senate Bill 1231…


Social Issues

play sound

A recent report details how great wealth that later made philanthropy possible around the country but most evidently in the District of Columbia…

Environment

play sound

New agricultural census data show a significant increase in production value for New England farms over the past five years. There are nearly 31,000 …


After lawmakers passed House Bill 1232 in 2021, standardized Colorado Option health insurance was developed with extensive input from consumers, insurers, health providers, rural communities and other stakeholders. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Colorado's standardized health-insurance plan, known as the Colorado Option, is changing how consumers interact with insurance, according to a new …

Social Issues

play sound

As the hearing for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act approaches, advocacy groups are reflecting on its importance. For the nonprofit …

Social Issues

play sound

More than a dozen states hold presidential primaries on this Super Tuesday. Minnesota is among them, and the election is seen as a big opportunity …

Social Issues

play sound

Wisconsin faces a big staffing shortage of registered nurses. Advocates hope for key solutions to bear fruit amid unease about the emergence of for-…

 

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