Colorado March 14 Energy Cheat sheet: Unencumbered from Clean Power Plan mandates, Hickenlooper opts to put Colorado in fiscal vulnerability; energy rate-payers are feeling the burn; environmental mandates make affordable housing as unaffordable as ever

March 14, 2016 by michael
Filed under: Environmental Protection Agency, renewable energy 

When the Supreme Court issued a stay of the Clean Power Plan, state leaders should’ve celebrated; our weighty budget crisis just got a little lighter with costly energy mandates no longer imminent.  Gov. Hickenlooper’s inexplicable decision to self-inflict these budget hits disappoints.

“One thing is clear: Any further effort to develop a state plan, full or partial, is a waste of taxpayer money. At a time when the state is facing a budget crisis, the agency’s position becomes even more untenable. Colorado’s unbridled zeal to charge on, absent the necessary certainty from the federal courts, coerces power providers to participate in an expensive process if only to ensure they don’t get run over.

Moreover, the benefits of developing new carbon regulations are nil, especially if Colorado proceeds on a piecemeal, stand-alone basis. Even if fully implemented, the federal Clean Power Plan would lower global temperatures a mere 0.02 of a degree — not enough to budge the needle. Rising sea levels? They’d be reduced by the thickness of two sheets of paper.”

And there’s no doubt that citizens are paying substantially higher rates for energy. Independence Institute energy analyst, Michael Sandoval, talks energy rates on-air with KOA’s Mandy Connell, confirming what we all have been suspecting: Colorado energy rates across all sectors (transportation, electricity, etc) have skyrocketed 67%, double the rate of inflation

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Is there any escape from the tentacles of regulators?  Not in the housing sector. After many billions of dollars were squandered on electric vehicle companies that flopped, Denver city leaders are mandating homebuilders install EV chargers in new home construction.  Homebuilders’ frustrations and concerns are given little to no weight:

“The Denver planning department’s proposed changes were spurred by the 2015 update to the International Code Council’s suggested rules, which serve as a sort of industry standard, along with Denver-specific amendments.

Those include the new requirement for electric vehicle-supporting conduits and panels in garages for new houses.

Initially, that change faced opposition, especially from homebuilders concerned about the added cost in construction.”

The homebuilder’s concerns were never mitigated, making Denver’s homebuilders the latest in Colorado to voice concerns about costly regulatory layers and fees in the housing sector.

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In the good news category, the Greeley city council will allow a 22-well oil and gas facility to go forward, overturning a decision made by its planning commission to deny the operation.  Initially, the planning commission unanimously sided with protesting neighbors, but the city council determined that the property owners legally are allowed this use of their land, and may access the underground assets.

“After six hours of testimony on Tuesday, the Greeley City Council overturned its planning commission, allowing a 22-well oil and gas facility in west Greeley — a move that aligned with the city’s own development code rather than public sentiment.

Hundreds of people turned out for the hearing, an appeal by Denver-based Extraction Oil and Gas, of the Greeley Planning Commission’s January decision to deny its project, 6-0. The hearing filled the hearing room at the Greeley-Evans School District 6 administration building, as well as its lobby, where almost 300 chairs were brought into accommodate the crowds, filled with neighbors against the project and hundreds of oil and gas workers wearing stickers that read, “Oil and gas feeds my family and yours!”

But hours of often emotional testimony couldn’t negate one fact: this was a property rights issue…”

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Independence Institute Future Leader Sarah Huisman prepared this edition of Cheat Sheet.

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