Colorado power plant bill poised to become law | SkyHiNews.com

Colorado power plant bill poised to become law

DENVER (AP) – Colorado is poised to require its largest utility to cut emissions at some coal-fired power plants and nudge it toward using more natural gas.

The House and Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill requiring Xcel Energy Inc. to give primary consideration to natural gas to cut emissions. Smokestacks at aging power plants in Denver and Boulder could be targeted.

It now awaits the signature of Gov. Bill Ritter, who helped craft the bill.

It gives Xcel the ability to sign long-term contracts to lock in lower prices for natural gas and a guarantee that consumers will have to pay that negotiated price.

It’s an attempt to head off a federal crackdown on pollution and increase natural gas drilling. Xcel says it could increase average electric bills by 4 to 6 percent.

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