Power plant bill gets first hearing at Capitol | SkyHiNews.com

Power plant bill gets first hearing at Capitol

DENVER (AP) – A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants Xcel Energy to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants and give priority to replacing them with cleaner gas-powered plants.

The bill is set to get its first hearing Tuesday. It’s aimed at preventing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from cracking down on emissions on the Front Range.

By August, Xcel would have to come up with a plan for reducing emissions for at least half of its coal-fired units or 900 megawatts of their capacity, whichever is less, by 2017. It could also consider retrofitting plants with emission controls, using more renewable energy and using power more efficiently.

The bill is backed by environmentalists and the gas industry. The mining industry, however, worries it could lead to layoffs.

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