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Press release: Xcel Energy, irresponsible by nature and ratepayers?

Press release: Xcel Energy, irresponsible by nature and ratepayers?

For immediate release

July 6, 2016

Contact: Michael Sandoval

303-279-6536, ext. 124 michael@i2i.org

Contact: Amy Cooke

303-279-6536, ext. 107 amy@i2i.org

Don’t Rush ‘Rush Creek’: Xcel’s wind project irresponsible by nature, think tank study says

DENVER, Colo — Colorado ratepayers and taxpayers face uncertainty if the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) grants expedited approval on Xcel Energy’s rushed application for a $1 billion plus wind energy venture that fails to account for environmental dangers, economic costs, and appropriation of tax subsidies. The Independence Institute asks for a responsible timeframe, permitted under state law, for the consideration of this project’s costs.

A new report titled “Irresponsible by Nature: No need for, no need to rush Rush Creek Wind Project” from the Independence Institute shows how Xcel’s plan for 300 wind turbines spanning 95,000 acres is “irresponsible by nature,” citing failures to address protection and safety concerns for Colorado’s wildlife and environment.

Additionally, the report details concerns about ratepayers’ already onerous electricity costs, which are up nearly 70 percent since 2001, and about Xcel’s rushed timeline for project that doesn’t allow for thorough economic and environmental analysis.

“Coloradans have a right to transparency in the process regarding their energy mix and their electricity cost. If the PUC caves to Xcel’s demand for an expedited timeline, the commission will be guilty of malfeasance,” said Amy Cooke, Independence Institute executive vice president.

Despite Xcel’s projections of unchanging consumption demands even as the state experiences considerable population growth, the company asks the PUC for rapid approval for Rush Creek in order to claim tax subsidies to fund a sprawling and unnecessary expansion project.

“Let’s be clear. Colorado doesn’t need more expensive wind energy. This hyper-drive approval process is for Xcel’s benefit. So Xcel profits at taxpayer and ratepayer expense,” Cooke warned.

Read the full report here.

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