What is the PUC?

If you’re like me and want excellent health for your kids then you probably want to see more clean, renewable energy in Colorado so that our kids have clean air to breathe.  But who makes those decisions?  It depends on the decision – some might be at the state legislature, sometimes by ballot initiative that we all vote on but often it’s up to the PUC.  

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is the regulatory body for many industries in Colorado and is made up of 3 Commissioners that are appointed by the Governor.  The PUC is responsible for assuring safe and reliable energy at rates that are reasonable.  When the utilities that provide our energy want to make changes in how they deliver our energy they often need permission from the PUC.

That process is underway right now.  Xcel energy has a proposal in front of the PUC that could speed up the process of closing Xcel’s old and dirty Comanche coal-fired power plant in favor of generating more renewable energy.  As you know, pollution stemming from facilities like the Comanche coal power plant create a number of health-related issues for everyone, but particularly for children whose lungs are still growing.  This pollution can lead to lifelong problems like exacerbating asthma and harming lung development as well as causing low birth weight. Our kids shouldn’t face such risks from something we can change.

When making their decision, the PUC will look at questions like if Xcel will still have capacity to generate enough energy to meet demands and will it cause rates to go up for Xcel’s customers.  Fortunately in this case, Xcel plans to generate more energy with renewables than will be lost with the closing of the coal plant. That generation of new renewable energy will also help replace many of the jobs from the coal plant.  Xcel has also stated that they won’t go forward with this proposal unless rates stay the same or even go down, an important stipulation for working class families.

Let’s let the PUC know we want clean energy for our kids! Join us in writing a letter to the PUC and ask that they move this Xcel proposal forward so our kids can benefit from cleaner air!  We’ve made it easy and have written a sample letter that you can use.  Just add your personal thoughts and send a letter by clicking here.