Take Action: Stand Up For Clean Energy In Colorado

A Rulemaking to Hold Tri-State Accountable

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is holding a rulemaking process through October 15th about Tri-State’s Electric Resource Plan (ERP), which will fundamentally impact co-op customers for years to come.

The ERP is a long-term energy plan that helps regulators and utilities decide where to invest resources for electricity and decide where that electricity comes from. Historically, Tri-State has not been required to file ERPs in the same way that investor-owned utilities (like Xcel) have. This spring, though, the Colorado Legislature required that the PUC adopt new rules to hold Tri-State’s ERP to higher standards.

Your comment makes a difference– we need you to speak out at the Colorado PUC and ask them to enact strong rules for Tri-State’s ERP to ensure that Colorado ratepayers have affordable, reliable, and responsible electricity.

Talking points and instructions for submitting comments below:

Tips for Comments

  • Include the rulemaking docket number: 19-R-0408E
  • Include your electric co-op if you know it (if you’re in La Plata or Archuleta counties, it’s La Plata Electric Association)
  • Personalize itTell the PUC why this is an important issue in your community. If you’re a business owner or community leader, let them know too!

Talking Points & Asks

1. The PUC should require that Tri-State evaluates the cost of existing resources during its ERP to ensure that Tri-State is appropriately calculating the risks and costs of its expensive coal fleet

  • Clean energy is more affordable than coal, and the PUC needs to evaluate the economics of Tri-State’s resources to make sure their rates are just and reasonable
  • A 2019 Strategen report found that Tri-State’s Craig 1 and Craig 2 are the #1 and #3 most expensive coal units in Colorado
  • A 2018 Rocky Mountain Institute report found that Tri-State members would save $600 million by shifting from coal to low-cost renewables
  • A 2018 Vibrant Clean Energy report found that Colorado would save $2.5 billion through 2040 by retiring all remaining coal units by 2025

2. The PUC should require that Tri-State utilize the Social Cost of Carbon in its ERP to account for the health and environmental impacts of carbon emissions from its power plants

  • The Social Cost of Carbon provides a monetary estimate of damages from greenhouse gases that cause climate change
  • In 2018, wildfire suppression cost $130 million in Colorado, not including 12,000 damaged homes and 600,00 displaced people. These expenses will only grow as climate-induced wildfires get stronger
  • Coal pollutants contribute to health problems ranging from asthma to brain damage, heart problems, cancer, neurological disorders, and premature death
  • Southwest Colorado is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including increased drought, reduced snowpack, and more frequent and severe wildfires

3. The PUC should require that Tri-State consult with impacted workers to submit a workforce transition plan when proposing the retirement of an electric generating facility

  • Impacted workers and communities deserve a just transition towards a clean energy economy
  • SB-236, which became law last May, requires utilities to submit a workforce transition plan when they propose to retire an electric generating unit
  • Tri-State should have to adhere to these standards as well

How to Make a Comment

1. Click on the button below to go to the PUC’s website

2. Select “Rulemaking and Investigations Initiated by Colorado Public Utilities Commission”

3. Select “19R-0408E – Proposed Rules Implementing ERP for Wholesale Coops”

4. Enter your information, write your comment, and attach any relevant documents. Then, click submit and you’re done!

3 Comments

  • Mary Robins says:

    1. The PUC should require that Tri-State evaluates the cost of existing resources during its ERP to ensure that Tri-State is appropriately calculating the risks and costs of its expensive coal fleet
    Clean energy is more affordable than coal, and the PUC needs to evaluate the economics of Tri-State’s resources to make sure their rates are just and reasonable
    A 2019 Strategen report found that Tri-State’s Craig 1 and Craig 2 are the #1 and #3 most expensive coal units in Colorado
    A 2018 Rocky Mountain Institute report found that Tri-State members would save $600 million by shifting from coal to low-cost renewables
    A 2018 Vibrant Clean Energy report found that Colorado would save $2.5 billion through 2040 by retiring all remaining coal units by 2025
    2. The PUC should require that Tri-State utilize the Social Cost of Carbon in its ERP to account for the health and environmental impacts of carbon emissions from its power plants
    The Social Cost of Carbon provides a monetary estimate of damages from greenhouse gases that cause climate change
    In 2018, wildfire suppression cost $130 million in Colorado, not including 12,000 damaged homes and 600,00 displaced people. These expenses will only grow as climate-induced wildfires get stronger
    Coal pollutants contribute to health problems ranging from asthma to brain damage, heart problems, cancer, neurological disorders, and premature death
    Southwest Colorado is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including increased drought, reduced snowpack, and more frequent and severe wildfires
    3. The PUC should require that Tri-State consult with impacted workers to submit a workforce transition plan when proposing the retirement of an electric generating facility
    Impacted workers and communities deserve a just transition towards a clean energy economy
    SB-236, which became law last May, requires utilities to submit a workforce transition plan when they propose to retire an electric generating unit
    Tri-State should have to adhere to these standards as well

    • Hi Mary,

      Please click the Take Action Button on the blog to submit comments through the PUC web portal. This is just for comments on the blog itself. We really appreciate you taking the time to do this!

      Best,
      Erika

  • karen says:

    I have sent my comments in. I think we might get more individuals to submit comments if it was made much clearer, easier, quicker for us to do so. just a suggestion

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