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Coalition of Ratepayers Responds to Xcel Energy Allies’ Attempt to Keep Ratepayers in the Dark

Coalition of Ratepayers Responds to Xcel Energy Allies’ Attempt to Keep Ratepayers in the Dark


DENVER, July 25, 2018 – Earlier today, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission rejected a motion filed by allies of Xcel Energy, Western Resource Advocates,to suppress critical testimony from Charles Griffey, a thirty-year veteran of the energy and utilities industry and adjunct professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas, in an ongoing proceeding regarding Xcel’s Colorado Energy Plan (CEP).

The CEP is the monopoly utility’s massive $2.5 billion fuel-switching scheme away from hydrocarbons in favor of predominantly industrial wind and includes plans to prematurely close Comanche I and II power plants in Pueblo, Colorado.

The motion, filed by the Western Resource Advocates, flew in the face of due process and aimed to suppress the truth. The company and its allies say the CEP will save customers money. Griffey’s testimony proves otherwise.

Amy Oliver Cooke of the Coalition of Ratepayers offered this statement in reaction to the failed attempt to keep ratepayers and the PUC Commissioners in the dark:

We thank the commissioners and staff for their due diligence, recognizing the importance of all information being heard, and rejecting the WRA motion.

Xcel and its supporters have not been honest with the Commission, the public, and customers about the true cost of the Colorado Energy Plan.

Through our expert witness Mr. Griffey, the Coalition of Ratepayers challenged their math, so they tried striking from the record his testimony that shows Xcel’s plan to shut down the plants will be felt by seemingly everyone except the company’s lavishly-compensated executives and shareholders. It was unconscionable and smacked of desperation, and we are glad that the commission agreed.

We contend that Xcel’s friends wouldn’t have tried to suppress evidence if they had nothing to fear. As we said in our response, ‘The truth should neither be buried nor ignored.’

On August 1, the Commission will hear arguments on Xcel’s application for the early retirement of and accelerated depreciation for Comanche I and II.

The Coalition of Ratepayers is a Colorado nonprofit focused on issues impacting small business and residential ratepayers that otherwise have no voice. To learn more, please visit www.i2i.org/coalition-of-ratepayers.


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Amy Cooke