There is an old saying that states, “Everyone can have their own opinions, but not their own facts.” When opinions move into the realm of facts, citizens, elected representatives, voters and public officials make bad decisions and pronouncements. As I have read the letters to the editor and opinions with regards to Colorado Senate Bill 252 (renewable energy standards), it appears that many statements of opinions seemed to be couched as facts.
The goal of Senate Bill 252 is to increase renewable energy standards to 25 percent from 10 percent by 2020 for cooperative electric associations that provide service to at least 100,000 meters. Retail costs are capped at a 2 percent increase to prevent any adverse impacts on customers. Our local electric coop does not have 100,000 meters, so we are exempt from this legislation.
There was a statement in the Steamboat Today by Tri-State Energy that stated this bill will costs many billions of dollars to comply with and is not economically feasible. At the 2011 regulatory filing commission approval meeting for the Limon II wind project, Xcel testified: “We view this wind project as providing substantial net savings to our company and our customers as early as 2014.”
There was also the statement that this bill would raise energy costs to the members of electric co-ops. But the facts are they are already going up, and by advancing clean renewable energy we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels as well as protect Coloradans by shielding them from future price spikes associated with volatile fossil fuel costs.
There was also the opinion that Senate Bill 252 will kill jobs, but the renewable industry has responded to the current renewable energy standard with significant investments in electricity generation projects and manufacturing facilities, employing nearly 10,000 Coloradans.
So you be the judge: Do you want to vote or make decisions based on opinions passed off as facts, or on the facts and just the facts?