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!

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