Colorado utilities say they can meet final air standard

Associated Press

Colorado's largest utility said it is well positioned to meet a new federal requirement announced Monday that the state cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 28 percent by 2030.

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's largest utility said it is well positioned to meet a new federal requirement announced Monday that the state cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 28 percent by 2030.

Xcel Energy tells The Denver Post (http://dpo.st/1M1zZZj) that it is on track to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 28 percent. That's the Colorado cut announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Colorado was not one of the 16 states to get tougher standards under the announcement.

Nationwide, the plan seeks a 32 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 from measures taken in 2005.

Each state has its own emissions-reduction goal and each will have flexibility in how the targets are reached. Colorado's goal was set using a measure set in 2012.

Colorado in 2010 set a goal for investor-owned utilities to generate 30 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020.

Even though the new rule didn't change Colorado's plan, there was plenty of pushback against the rules Monday.

The Colorado Mining Association on urged the state to oppose it.

"This rule will cause electricity costs to skyrocket and sacrifice the well-being of energy consumers throughout the state, all for unproven benefits," Stuart Sanderson, the association's president, said in a statement.

The final rule ended up with a more stringent target for emissions reductions for two main reasons — renewable sources such as wind and solar are getting cheaper and easier to build, and the EPA considered that states in some cases could easily use clean power from neighbors if they didn't have the capacity to generate it themselves.

Also, the states' ongoing efforts to reduce energy demand won't be included in their baseline measurements the way that other factors, like replacing coal plants with cleaner sources, will be.

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