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Denver Post Op-Ed Missing All the Critical Facts

Published in Denver Post
By Steve Pomerance

RE -- Colorado’s transition from coal power will be rapid and just – 8/27/22 — by Toor, Horvath, et al

To the Editors:

To the contrary, Colorado’s transition from coal power has been neither rapid nor just. Toor (Polis’ energy czar) and Horvath (Xcel executive) just demonstrated how to say very little in a lot of words, while avoiding the uncomfortable truths.

The big issue is Comanche 3, a 750 MW coal plant near Pueblo, which Xcel completed in 2010, right in the face of global warming, a known and public concern since the 1980’s. Bottom line, this plant never should have been built. And it has never run consistently, so it’s of zero value in backing up renewables. At worst, it should have been shut down years ago, not 8 or 9 years from now. 

Xcel owns 2/3 of the plant, and Xcel’s piece, which cost them roughly $800 million, has been partially paid off by us ratepayers already. But Xcel still has something over $600 million in the plant. And we ratepayers are on the hook for every dollar of this, plus interest, and will be paying Xcel off for decades — unless Toor and his buddies in the governor’s office really push the Public Utilities Commission to force Xcel to accept full financial responsibility for its disastrous decision to build that coal plant when it should have been doing everything possible to clean up its energy supply.

But, if history is any guide, Xcel will get a sweet financial deal and not suffer any losses, we’ll still have coal for nearly a decade more, and Toor, etc. will write more propaganda pieces to cover up their policy failure.

Steve Pomerance
Boulder, CO