Colorado Corn Growers Association Public Policy Chair Rick Palkowitsh was among a handful of agricultural representatives to meet with Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday to ask him to veto SB252. The meeting was arranged with the Governor through Representative Jerry Sonnenberg at the urging of the CCGA Public Policy Committee.
"We made our case," Palkowitsh said. "We told him we, representing the end-users who will be affected by these increases, were never part of the negotiations. We said we support renewable energy and we want to be at the table to come up with a compromise to this bill that will be in the benefit of everyone."
Coloradans in 2004 voted to require investor-owned utilities to obtain 10 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2015. The current standard — 30 percent by 2020 — was agreed to in 2010. A 2007 law requires the co-ops and their utility supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, to meet a 10 percent renewable standard by 2020.
SB 252, which was approved on a party-line vote in a Senate committee would increase the standard to 25 percent by 2020 with costs passed on to consumers at a rate of 2 percent per year.
Palkowitsh presented Hickenlooper with a letter from CCGA urging his veto with a promise that Colorado Corn would be happy to be part of the negotiations to come up with a reasonable compromise to increase the RES.