Legislators Call on Governor to Remove PUC Chairman Binz

November 4, 2010

DENVER, Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Affordable and Reliable Energy Colorado (AREC) remains concerned about the continued bias shown by certain members of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding Xcel’s efforts to implement key provisions of the Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act (CACJA).

In light of recent evidence, including hundreds of e-mails and public disclosure documents, Chairman Ron Binz, and to a lesser extent Commissioner Matt Baker, are doing all they can to drag Xcel’s plan across the finish line and stick ratepayers with the bill.

Xcel’s latest plan, filed more than two months after the August 15 statutory deadline, represents the company’s third attempt at meeting the mandate of a law it helped write. With hearings already in progress and less than 50 days from the PUC’s December 15th decision, stakeholders are being denied their right to be heard.

In a November 4, 2010, letter to Governor Ritter, seven legislators requested that Chairman Ron Binz be removed as a member of the PUC. AREC appreciates the support of these Colorado state senators who are standing up in support of Colorado ratepayers. The letter states:

       "Given Chairman Binz's blatant disregard for the
       statutes governing his conduct as a member of the
        Colorado Public Utilities Commission, I strongly
     encourage you to consider removing Chairman Binz as a
       member of the Colorado PUC . . . I have difficulty
     seeing how Chairman Binz can be an impartial judge in
       adjudicating a case that stems from a bill that he
      himself negotiated and drafted, in concert with the
        utility they purport to regulate. Even if one is
         acting with the most noble of intentions, the
       appearance of impropriety is so great in this case
      that it taints not only this proceeding but possibly
       future proceedings conducted by the Colorado PUC."

                    -Senators Ted Harvey, Kevin Lundberg, Dave Schulteis,
                       Shawn Mitchell, Scott Renfroe, Al White and Mark

On behalf of the consumers, workers, laborers businesses and industries we represent, we believe the future of our state’s energy policy should not be developed behind closed doors. Colorado consumers deserve to know the impacts this radical energy plan will have on their families’ electric rates.

The fact is, the only way to meet the clean air goals mandated by CACJA is by installing proven technologies on Xcel’s existing coal-fueled power plants. Doing so will reduce emissions sooner and more cost-effectively, keep rates low for Colorado consumers, preserve electric reliability and protect our state’s jobs and economy.

We urge the Governor to remove Chairman Binz from the docket, start this process over and fully evaluate the options that will best meet the needs of the people of Colorado.

Click here for the full text of the letter to Governor Ritter.

Affordable and Reliable Energy Colorado is a statewide coalition of public and private stakeholders committed to supporting the sustainable use of our state’s domestic fuel resources to reliably meet Colorado’s growing energy demands in a low-cost and environmentally-responsible way. Learn more at www.reliablecoloradoenergy.org

SOURCE Affordable and Reliable Energy Colorado (AREC)

Source: newswire

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