Update: June 2010
The Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant became operational in May 2010.
Update: January 2010
Xcel Energy has requested several rate increases in recent months, largely to pay for the Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant in Pueblo. Most recently, in December 2009, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved a rate hike of $128.3 million a year for Xcel’s customers, effective January 1, 2010. However, on December 17, 2009, Xcel requested a temporary reduction, to $61.4 million, due to boiler problems that have delayed the start up of Comanche 3. Xcel intends to ask state regulators to raise rates again once the facility begins generating electricity. Several local residents have criticized Xcel for investing in the $1.3 billion dirty coal plant and for not promoting cleaner, renewable energy sources, such as solar, effectively.
In late 2008, the Colorado State Supreme Court refused to hear the air permit appeal and Clean Energy Action lost the Friedlander case in District Court.
Update: July 2008
Currently the air permit for the Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant is being appealed at the Colorado State Supreme Court and Clean Energy Action is awaiting the decision of the Friedlander case.
Update: February 2007
On Wednesday January 31, 2007, Dan Friedlander, a member of Clean Energy Action took legal action against the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding their decision to allow Xcel Energy to begin construction of the Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant. In a statement reported in the Denver Post, Friedlander alleges that the PUC allowed Xcel to violate the "long-standing practices of not charging ratepayers for power plants until they are operational." According to Clean Energy Action, in addition to greatly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, this plant would add 100 pounds of mercury to the environment and use 5 million gallons of water a day every year until at least 2060. To learn more about efforts to oppose the plant visit Clean Energy Action's website. In addition, to learn about student/youth activism to oppose this plant and support renewable energy go here!
Update: October 2007
On October 16, 2007, the Colorado Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case aimed at stopping construction of Xcel Energy's Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant in Pueblo. The case brought by Clean Energy Action and Citizens for Clean Air in Pueblo went to the Court of Appeals after the permit was upheld by the district court in a 2006 ruling. Xcel received an air permit for the plant in 2005, but Clean Energy Action and Citizens for Clean Air in Pueblo argue that the permit should be overturned because the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment failed to investigate an EPA violation notice issued in 2002 against the two existing units at the Comanche plant. Construction of the third unit began in December 2005 and is scheduled to be in operation by fall 2009.
On August 6, 2004, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, submitted an application to construct and operate a new coal-fired utility boiler (Unit 3) at its Comanche Generating Station. After appeals from opposition, PSCo and various citizen groups entered into a Settlement Agreement where the company promised to install SO2 controls on its two existing units at the Comanche Station. A revised application for its third unit at the plant that addresses the Settlement Agreement was submitted on January 19, 2005 and permits for the plant were issued on July 5, 2005.
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