Gov. John Hickenlooper signed SB13-252, "Renewable Energy Standard Retail Wholesale Methane" last week. He also signed an executive order related to the legislation and issued a signing statement addressed to the General Assembly.
The executive order creates an advisory committee to the director of the Colorado Energy Office on the effectiveness of SB13-252.
"This legislation will expand economic opportunities across Colorado through the development of wind, solar, and other innovative energy resources," the order says. "Rural areas, in particular, will benefit economically from the expansion of renewable resources because the vast majority of renewable resources are located outside of the state's urban centers. For example, this bill will expand construction and manufacturing opportunities in rural areas through large wind and solar projects and will create jobs in the newly eligible waste-to-energy and coal mine methane industries.
"The reasons for signing the legislation outweigh the reasons for vetoing the bill, but this bill is imperfect," the order says. "Some of the concerns raised during the legislative process were not given due consideration. Top among these concerns are the feasibility of the implementation timetable and consumer protections. The advisory committee will work to fully address these concerns, culminating in proposals for the 2014 legislative session."
The signing statement addressed to the General Assembly says:
"After careful consideration, I signed Senate Bill 13-252, legislation that expands economic opportunities for wind, solar and other renewable technologies in Colorado. The development and deployment of most of these innovations are already taking place in rural communities across Colorado. That fact has influenced our administration's review of this legislation.
"We believe SB13-252 merits passage on a variety of grounds. First, this act will eliminate the arguable in-state preference concerning renewable resources currently in state statute.
"Second, this legislation creates significant benefits to rural communities. This legislation expands 'eligible energy resources' to include synthetic gas produced by pyrolysis of municipal solid waste. Each waste-to-energy facility creates an estimated $54 million in economic activity and most of the proposed facilities have been targeted toward rural communities. Also as a newly eligible resource, waste-to-energy projects create profitable outlets for the more than 70 million waste tires stockpiled in the rural areas around Colorado.
"Additionally, this legislation includes coal mine methane as an 'eligible energy resource' which will allow Colorado to more safely develop coal gas production in rural communities.
"Third, this legislation builds upon the initial success of the rural electric cooperatives, which in partnership with their generation sources, have begun to include renewable generation.
"Opponents of this legislation have raised a number of objections — all of which we weighed seriously. First, they argue that reaching a goal of 20 percent by 2020 is not achievable. Second, they argue that attempting to achieve it will result in billions of costs to rural ratepayers, despite a 2 percent rate cap designed specifically to protect consumers.
"If the 2 percent rate cap was compounded, I would veto this bill. While it is computed annually, it does not compound. This rate cap operates the same way that the current 1 percent rate cap operates. The bill is designed to protect against incurring investment costs, including debt service, that push beyond a 2 percent cap. The assertion that this legislation will levy billions in costs to rural consumers is not borne out by the facts."blog comments powered by Disqus